‘I live with a high-risk person and a key worker – what do we do?’ Asks Eastbourne woman

An Eastbourne woman is seeking advice amid the coronavirus pandemic as she lives with her high-risk father – and her husband who is a key worker.

Aimi Racher, from Langney, is a live-in carer for her 67-year-old dad, who is disabled and has lung disease.

But her partner, who is also a registered carer, is considered a key worker – meaning he has to continue working while everyone else has been told to stay home due to the outbreak.

Christopher Furlong

This clashes with the need to keep her father safe, as high risk people have been told to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks.

Aimi said, “It’s like a ticking time bomb. My husband is likely to come into contact with it.

“I’ve been doing lots of research in the last 24 hours. There’s nothing at the moment. We’re not getting any answers.

“There’s lots of people who have key workers in their family and those who are extremely high risk.”

The 34-year-old said, “It’s difficult when the advice is to make sure you use separate bathrooms, but we only have one bathroom.”

The couple are trying to find an alternative place to live to keep her father safe.

They have had no luck with the council and Aimi says there needs to be some sort of support group for people like them.

She said, “I feel especially in Eastbourne I imagine there are a lot of people in a similar situation. We have also got all these empty hotels now.”

Her father suffers chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease which means he is at high risk if he catches coronavirus. He has also previously had lung cancer.

“He doesn’t need oxygen at the moment,” Aimi said, “It’s more the mental health impact.

“He’s been through lots of health issues but he’s more scared of this. Not being able to see anybody for three months is a long time.”

NHS and Government advice

• The NHS has written to everyone considered to be at risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus.

• They must stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks

• This excludes their carers and healthcare workers continuing to provide medical care

• However, if a carer starts to display any of the symptoms of coronavirus, they must suspend face-to-face visits.

• A dedicated helpline has been set up by the government for vulnerable people who need additional care.

• Call 0800 028 8327 or visit www.gov.uk/cornonavirus-extremely-vulnerable