Re-SILLY-ence!  A term I created that means … building fortitude in tough times by clowning around for the greater amusement of everyone.  Laughter truly is a great medicine!

When restrictions were introduced and increased I was initially unsure whether to continue with 1:1 support and just stay home. But what worked for me was limiting the number of 1:1 support shifts I accepted. This helped me feel like I was limiting my sphere of contact and helping to protect myself by social distancing as much as possible. Because of the restrictions, with limited access to places, people and resources, it is a time of great creativity and spontaneity!

I played miniature indoor soccer the other day with an eight year old participant where we set up the field; players, referees, fans, soccer ball, goal posts from miscellaneous items we found around the house. We got very engrossed in the game and had lots of fun!

To encourage some other kids I support I took along some silly hats and surprised them throughout the day. I put on different hats and role-played silly characters. The kids loved it! I think we need humour more than ever in these strange times, just to let loose and be a bit silly, have some fun and keep reassuring and reminding ourselves and the people we support that ‘this too will pass’.

I have found it is quite easy to keep yourself and the people you support as germ-free as possible with a bit of consideration and forward thinking. It is worth the effort when you see the smiling faces of those you support. When you know you’re doing a great job in that moment, giving families a break, companionship, a distraction and something to look forward to so that they feel supported and cared for. It’s easy to say ‘we’re all in this together’ but it’s great to actively get alongside the people we support and be a real, tangible presence to make someone’s day a bit brighter.

The part about my job I really enjoy is being able to support people in their home. I have the opportunity to be a part of their day; to offer my assistance, suggestions and support.  The best part is to realise you’re making a big difference to their day. I love the feeling that through my support I can make someone’s day better.

By Sharon Harris, IOE Support Worker