There is already a Code of Conduct for Care Agencies, and Care Staff, with guidance for all interested parties. I would hope that Hica (our Care Agency) are familiar with these documents.
In future if our regular carers: Chloe, Gail and Gemma and are not available then replacement staff need to have some information about us. This needs to include details of: Maureen’s current presentation, personal history, and how we run our household. They also need to have had considerable experience of supporting clients who have dementia.
It was evident that the carer who arrived on Saturday morning knew nothing about us. It is fortunate that I decided not to go to Coventry, and Maureen didn’t wake with a stranger in our house. Maureen’s reaction to this well-meaning elderly lady was to go out for a walk because she is fed up with people she doesn’t know ‘interfering in our lives’. As she often says: ‘the house is not our home any longer’. Her assertion is just another sign that when she has energy her ability to think rationally and logically is intact.
I made a wise decision to cancel my plans to go to Coventry on Saturday. We also had a very lucky break on the same day: Maureen’s cousin spotted her heading into Cleethorpes; going in the opposite direction of home. He pulled up in his car as she was attempting to cross a very busy road. Terry described Maureen as: ‘looking very confused and exhausted’. I’m not surprised by his description as she had been walking for well over an hour: ill clad on a very cold and windy day. I had been out looking for her around her usual haunts, and I was very relieved to see a note in our letter box saying that she was in his safe hands.
I will be rather reluctant to allow Maureen to run off again: even if it’s to escape from strangers who have been sent her to support her. However, prevention is always better than a cure, and there is a simple solution to all of this!