There is little doubt that I have found recent changes in Maureen’s presentation extremely challenging. On occasions exhaustion has led me to make decisions that have been questionable in the cold light of day. Thankfully my requests for increases in my Support Package have been heeded and I start this week with an air of optimism.
It is important to acknowledge the generosity of the Local Authority and its mantra to ‘look after their carers’. I am well aware that fellow carers around the country would give their right arm for the level of support that is available to carers in North East Lincolnshire. I can almost hear them saying ‘what else does he want?’ My answer is quite simple: the energy to continue to be a supportive Care Partner and time to have some life of my own.
None of us can predict how Maureen’s presentation will pan out in the short or long term. What I now have in place is six three hour carer sits and opportunities for day trips to see family. I have also had positive discussion with our social worker about overnight stays so that I can have mini breaks from my caring duties.
I have to tread carefully to make the best of the new Care Plan. If I rush things and panic Maureen then the additional support on offer will be counterproductive. There were considerable repercussions when I went to see my daughter in London and the last thing we need is a repeat of those events. However, if I lose any more contact with my own family and become totally isolated resentment is likely to creep in. Therefore the Local Authority’s generosity has to be matched with resolve on my behalf: they have created windows of opportunity it’s up to me to make my way through them!
Opportunity knocks today when our social worker visits this morning. As Sue often says ‘we need to work Maureen’: recognition of the person rather than deferring to the condition. It will be interesting to hear Maureen’s view of her needs and how she wants to maintain her independence within th.