Today is one of those days when I feel tempted to throw the towel in and walk away from my role as Care Partner to my wife. The ‘last straw’ is realising that our Care Agency are not Dementia Friendly: in fact I’m coming to the conclusion that they don’t understand the condition at all.
I’ve spent this morning, once again, trying to paper over the cracks in their set up. The new Care Plan is now in situ as I have collected it from their offices. However, when I’m told that new carers are expected to familiarise themselves with it on arrival I begin to get worried. Then when I establish that they are quite happy to saddle us with a carer on Friday who was counterproductive on her last visit I begin to despair.
The new Agency continues to claim they have teething problems since their takeover from the previous incumbent. From what I’ve seen and heard they need root canal treatment. There is trouble in the camp from their staff making complaints within earshot that their leave requests are not being sanctioned. I’m already aware of bad feeling from the imposition of the new contract with a reduction in enhanced rates for week-end working.
When I arrive home I watch the excellent Gail in action allowing Maureen to put out the washing unaided: it takes her half an hour. Chloe will be back on Monday and Maureen won’t allow anyone else but her ‘hairdresser’ to help her in the shower. That is on good days. It has been about a month now since Maureen felt warm water all over her body: despite Chloe’s attempts to coax her into the cubicle on every visit.
There are suggestions that the Care Sector is on the verge of collapse as it tries to implement the Living Wage. I know that feeling: carers can’t get their leave sanctioned – I wish there was even a process for me to put in an application for a decent break.
The dedication of Chloe and Gail never continues to amaze me. They are treated poorly in an industry that is on the verge of collapse. It is possible that their employer is being pushed over the cliff by a Local Authority wrestling with the demands of diminishing resources. I feel ready to throw the towel in: trying to continually sort out dysfunctional organisation is exhausting.
It is fortunate that my meeting with our G P and my Admiral Nurse is less than 48 hours way. Unless the involvement of the Home Treatment Team is on the horizon and leads to some postive changes in the support we receive the only towel that needs to be used here won’t be Maureen’s bath towel.