Katie is a Senior Content Creative at Whitespace, and currently helps care for her father David, who has Lewy Body Dementia.
What new processes or routine have you adopted whilst working from home and being a Carer?
I’ve returned to my childhood home in Stirlingshire – a new shift during lockdown. Social restrictions and lack of access to care has meant an extra set of hands have been needed. But the fact that I am still able to work and support my dad has been a relief.
It’s become very important to ‘take shifts’ in this house. My mother and sister cover the night shift. Then I get up early to begin work and get my dad settled with breakfast and some engrossing documentary. We spend the morning together while I work and take calls, excusing David Attenborough narrating my life in the background.
I’ll get the most work done early (when no-one is up) or in the afternoon and evening (when everyone else is around), so I’ve learned to plan out my days and weeks with care, and work faster and more efficiently.
I’m clearer with my team about the support I need to make the best thing for the client. And I’ve become much more comfortable in reaching out to people and getting involved in new projects, thanks to a new-found confidence in my time keeping and routine.
What are you finding most surprising about your new routine?
The fact that I am able to balance the workload with family responsibilities! When you know you have a limited time, you make every second count!
I’ve also discovered the importance of setting aside time to stop and connect with the people around me. The weekends are for properly spending time with my dad, and for seeing my husband Thomas, who works in retail during the week in Edinburgh. But throughout the weekdays, taking some time out to have a coffee and a chat with dad, or take him for a walk helps to break up our day. And it’s good to do things with him that aren’t just practical care.
The flexible working, and the help of my team makes all that possible.
Do you have any tips or ideas for other parents or carers across dentsu to help with their daily routines?
Walking and getting some time alone has been the biggest mental-health saviour for me. Even plugging into a really good podcast and doing a mindless task like dishes or laundry is a time away from working and other people.
Find satisfaction and pride in each thing you do, regardless if it’s for yourself, work, or the people around you. We’re having to cram a lot of responsibility into each day, so it’s important to recognise how much you are doing, and revel in the small successes.