General Article ‘My son has learning disabilities. I live in fear I’ll get Covid and won’t be able to look after him

Topic Selected: Disabilities Book Volume: 393

Philippa, 82

I’ve been caring for Simon since I was 25. He has learning disabilities and brain damage.

It’s not so much a matter of him having to be watched every minute of the day – he’s mobile, and perfectly capable of getting dressed, and he can put a simple meal in a microwave – but he has to be supported and helped. So he has to be told when to wash his clothes, he needs some meals cooked for him, and if he’s going out, somebody always has to go with him.

He lives around the corner from our family home in Chichester, in a small house that my late husband Alan and I bought him, and his support worker visits a few times a week, plus I see him every evening. At weekends he’s with me all the time. I’m constantly worrying something will happen to me – and since the Covid-19 crisis began, I’ve lived in fear that I’ll get sick and won’t be able to take care of Simon. He was a baby when it became obvious he wasn’t developing properly. At the time we were living in central Africa as Ala...

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