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.
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!