Friday, 13 February 2015

Gratitudes and Celebration Journal - Week 73 - Integrity

It has been a busy week of dealing with services that help with mum and it has not been an easy week.  I have found many people who work in healthcare that don't really care about the service user and the families that support them at all.  The very same people who need the care are the ones who worked every day of their lives and never took a day off sick, and these are the very men and women who are now the octogenarians who are being treated badly and seemingly thrown on the heap.  I have become frustrated at some of the actions and thoughts of the services that I have to deal with on mums behalf as their idea of care means leaving the elderly isolated and on their own.

Who Cares

I was told that it is alright for me to leave a 91 year old woman with severe dementia on her own at night, despite the fact that she cannot do anything for herself or discern when she is in danger.  I know that there are many elderly people who live on their own, but for the ones who are ill or frail appropriate measures need to be considered and put in place so that they can still feel like valued members of the community.  My mums borough has never recognize the need for support for night time care, I asked what would happen if she felt out of bed, which has happened as she wouldn't be found until the morning and I was told I should use the crash mat - which is supposed to be placed beside her bed, or what would happen if she got out of the flat and fell down the stairs - would she have to wait until morning to get help for that as well?

Regardless of how I feel about the role of carer, leaving my mum on her own was something we stopped doing since around 2004.  It has not been easy having to go backwards and forwards and the times that I had to console my son because he was missing me broke my heart.  But knowing that mum could walk out of the house and no one knows where she had gone is something we never want to relive again and my heart goes out to anyone who has been in this situation.

Creating problems and not finding solutions

The fact is regardless of the strides some councils have made it isn't enough.  The way that the elderly are treated and regarded is appalling especially if you happen to be frail or have an illness or disability.  Carers who shoulder a lot of the financial, physical and emotional burdens are not appreciated and those who work in the healthcare field are undervalued.  It would seem that they are brushed under the carpet until someone exposes mistreatment or someone dies then you have the politicians running around saying how shocking it all is and that their party will turn things around.

With millions of pounds of cuts being made in around the country the first services that were affected were the elderly and those with disabilities.  The staff at the center that my mum attends many of whom knew the service users were told they had to leave or face a pay cut, new staff were brought in either fresh out of University so they could pay them peanuts and felt undervalued to those who just didn't have a heart for the role in health care anymore, and didn't seem to like interacting.

The caring role over the years has taken a toll on my health and well-being, but I do it, not because I have to but because I want to.  There are times when exhausted I cry out that I don't want to do it any more, and I know that at some point I am going to have to make a decision about where mum is cared for, but knowing and doing the right thing for mum out weighs anything that I am going through myself. 

I am grateful and celebrate the creative tools that are available to me that enable me to express how I feel, to have a voice and can find a place of peace and comfort.

Share one thing that you are grateful for, stay blessed and be a blessing.

I am on a journey and hope you come along and join me. Why not start your own journal, keep it as simple or complex as you wish, but do something!


  1. I hear what you're saying. I too am going through the same thing. It's a part of life that no family member is prepared for. The emotional, financial and time investment does take a toll on caregivers. It seems no one really wants to talk about it. Even vital information needed to best care for a loved one is sometimes misleading. Of course each person's situation is different depending on health insurance , needs of the elder and availability of services. So Thank you Amanda for talking about it. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. Thank you for taking the time to care for yourself through art therapy!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It makes a difference especially on this journey. To know that there are others who can relate is comforting, you can feel quite isolated at times. How are you supported? I hope you are able to access the support needed for your situation. Blessings


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