Update: Since this post not only has dad been back in hospital but so has my mother and the reality of a carer being taken unwell really hit the family. However, I will be doing a separate post about the great family we have and how my sisters just got on with caring for Dad while mum was in hospital, learning how to administer medication, test blood sugars, and empty catheter bags. They are called the 3 P’s now. I will explain later. Here they are getting Attention to Care Certificates.
This was supposed to be a blog post that I wanted to complete yesterday but things changed and Dad (AKA Grumpy) was taken into hospital and so I am now at my parents as Dad is rather unwell. However, I still wanted to post the blog as its important to understand the impact of multiple conditions. At this point in time Dad is still very unwell. Again Mum has been amazing and shows what true strength she has. Below is yesterdays blog.
I read an article recently about having multiple conditions and it being like having a full time job. It was saying that the amount of appointments someone has in a week or month can make it feel like you are working full time. What I would have maybe added to the article would have been about being a carer for someone with multiple conditions.
Mum is the carer for Dad (AKA grumpy), its a full time job in fact its more then full time if she was working she would have to sign out of the working time directive without a doubt. Her working day starts at 6am and ends at 10pm in general but hey lets not forget the waking in the night to support Dad. She does not get paid the minimum wage she does not have paid breaks she does not have 25 days holiday a year including bank holidays.
‘Full time job being a carer with no breaks’ does not really explain the reality of caring for a loved one. Its so much more then a full time job for my Mum she is constantly observing him, watching out for a change that may mean yet again another hospital visit. The job of a carer for a loved one has been made much harder with the lack of co-production between the health professionals. Its actually a full time job trying to get answers. Its seems departments do not seem to communicate, it seems that at times its a bit of ‘its not my job’ or ‘wait until it gets worse then we might do something’ or ‘lets wait until they complain then we will have to do something’. When co-production is so important why is not been followed. It is stressful, sad and tiring to care for someone please lets not make it harder by not giving people answers or even support.
In our family every single one of us appreciates he NHS we do but I have to say some of the care and support has been poor and thats the reality, its down to individuals not the NHS alone, as how can we have a ward that is lets just say unsatisfactory and then in the same hospital a ward that I would say was good. It’s down to management of a ward and the staff on the ward that make or breaks a service. Please do not add to the carers burden by making them concerned leaving their loved ones, lets realise that if the person is in hospital then it could be the ideal opportunity for the carer to have a break so lets make it that they do not have to worry about basic care, lets ensure we make sure that the patient is looked after. Allow the carer to pass over responsibility for a short while to paid care and health professionals. Ensure they know that you have their back and will ensure that their loved one will be cared for. Please also ensure on discharge you give full information and communicate what will happen next.
I am leaving it there but as always please feel free to share your experiences.