There is a possibility that today will not be a good birthday for Maureen: that must not happen. However I’m optimistic that person-centred care approach of the Home Treatment Team will be reality rather than rhetoric.
Once again I liaised with Maureen’s Care Home before I spent time with her yesterday. We decided to delay my visit until the afternoon to give her time to find her feet after a period of being unsettled: she didn’t go to bed until 5 am on Monday.
I can empathise with why Maureen is totally unhappy in the Care Home. She would be even more concerned if she was aware that they have felt it necessary to restrict her liberty with DOLS. Her situation reminds me of how I felt when I was Sectioned and detained in a Mental Health Unit a short distance away.
It was fortunate that my Carers Assessment was scheduled for yesterday morning as it gave me the opportunity to check out with our Social Worker what lay ahead. I am reassured by the thoroughness of the process but concerned by the length of time it will take before a ‘Best Interest Meeting’ can be convened to determine the way forward.
I realise that a thorough assessment of our needs is essential to ensure the well-being of the ‘dynamic duo’. Yet there is something about the process that is really giving me cause for concern: Maureen is being assessed in a unfamiliar environment that is causing her great distress: my respite is turning into her nightmare.
My prime function as Maureen’s Care Partner is to minimise distress. Unfortunately, the current respite arrangements are having the opposite effect. In my opinion it is now counterproductive for Maureen to stay in the Care Home any longer: it is doing her more harm than good. This is no criticism of the regime, or the staff, they are doing good work in a very challenging environment. That environment is unsuitable for Maureen at this stage of her condition. I will assert that position this morning.
I hope I can get Maureen to keep singing this song to remind her we are on her side:
I can never be ‘Union Jack’, as Maureen’s dad was fondly known but I hope she can remember I will summon the troops to help her preserve her independence. That is something ‘Team Collins’ and ‘Team Wilcox’ will always do: support each other.
Footnote: My birthday present to Maureen is a Memory Box with all sorts of mementos to remind her how much she is loved by so many people.