Monday, 9 April 2012

H is for Health Professionals

Since becoming a carer I deal with a wide variety of health professionals.  The journey has been like a walking through a maze with different routes and hoops to jump and never ending forms to complete whenever you need to make a request.  Every year the policies change and new procedures developed - new roads to venture down, mountains to climb and further cuts to services that impact on carers and those they care for.

I have met those who really want to assist you but their hands are tied by beaurocracy and according the form that took two hours to complete you didn’t score enough points even though they can see that there is a need.  They will actively look for solutions to the problems.

I have also come across those who as far as they are concerned putting mum in a home is the best option giving them one less client to worry about.  I gave up trying to convince the social worker who suggested this. I asked her how mum could be better off in an environment where there were 15 - 20 residents to 1 or 2 members of staff as opposed to the 1:1 care in her own home she persisted in her suggestions telling me how well the homes were monitored.  That very week in the papers was a scandal that identified how many residents had been mistreated in a home in the same borough that my mum lived.  - "Ok" I said "I will give it some thought", worried about the recommendations she would put on mums file if I was totally honest with what I thought of her idea.  Obviously if a care home is a choice that you have to make after research and weighing up your situation then you do it without feeling badgered into the decision.

You need to make sure you get as much information as possible about services available so that you can access them.  When mum first went to the day care centre she hated it, saying it was full of old people who weren't well, after a while it became an outlet for her rather than being stuck in the house, as far as she is concerned now she is going to work and helping others!

Sometimes we can get so bogged down with the role and what people might think of us not coping that we are frightened to let others in. I used to wonder if anyone else could look after mum the way I could - I became the expert.  Know that you can make room despite the circumstances, and the appearance of things, you have to learn how to ask, and ask again and, and keep asking because the help and the answers are out there!

Words so far....

A is for Alzheimer’s, B is for Behaviour, C is for Carer, D is for Dependant, E is for Enough, F is for Fear, G is for Guilt

These posts are part of the A-Z Challenge taking place during the month of April.  I have been sharing about my experience as a carer to a mother with Dementia.  If you would like to know more join the Arts in Health Network and also check out my website for information on some of the work I have done with Creativity and Dementia.
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