PART 1 (not sure there is a part 2)
It came into my head tonight that there must be a tail or two that care workers could tell us that will shed light on the fun it can be to be a carer. Yes it’s a serious job (I am well aware), but if like me, there has been some funny/amusing/amazing/extraordinary experiences that within care then maybe we should share. It’s just a thought. Of course no identifiable information that would break ‘data protection’ or ‘confidentiality’ but stories that may bring a wry smile to your face or did bring a rye smile maybe even a loud laugh.
My first day as a support worker (18 just left home) gave me a shock, having a lady ask me outright if I had a Fanny and the proceeded to say I have ‘see’. Oh and yes she showed me. How I managed to be brave enough to stay I do not know but I did. It still brings a wry smile to me face when I think of her that first moment.
Not long after this I was told I would need to practice ducking and I just laughed at that comment not understanding the real implications until, a glass and a table came across the room then I realised ducking was a skill I mastered very quickly. I found myself drawn to the services users who everyone seemed to want to avoid as they were deemed as ‘challenging’ and they were but finding out about the person and learning the triggers and reasons behind the frustration helped enormously. So I would watch and observe and move very quickly when another support worker went in feet first with no thought for the persons feelings. They soon learnt to duck. Sadly 28 years ago there was not much training or clear understanding. However, I now enjoy being able to share my knowledge in supporting positive behaviours.
If you could see care in colour then below is what it would be, unique, bright and sometimes explosive. It’s all the colours of the rainbow and more.
If you heard it in a sound then it would be all the chords, notes you can think of going of at once.
So what I ask is that you focus on these stories of joy, amusement, uniqueness and inclusion and share them with respect. Remember on the harder days it’s going to be a better day soon. Think of the colours, think of the sounds and then remember your going home you are just there for a moment in some of the people’s lives so make that moment mean something. Make that time be colourful, make the smile as bright as you can and focus on what matters.
Please feel free to share your stories, please feel free to ask advice and feel free to be unique. YOU ALL MATTER 🙂
Well its been a month and a half since I gave up college assessing (it just wasn’t for me), Even though still feel somewhat nervous and anxious, I am now starting to feel motivated. Yes motivated and its not bad. Yes my little monster in my ear still tries to bring me back into a less motivated space or tries to pass on the CBA function. I AM NOT LISTENING!!!!
Anyway I digress… well yes motivation is back and that was helped when I bumped into a manager of one of the very first domiciliary care agencies I assessed in. Well it was a quick catch up (gossip). However, after the brief catch up we went on to talk about care and the impact of double up rounds on the ‘purse strings’. Now we all know cuts are happening (disgraceful cuts) but there is nothing we can do so we have to be seen to still trying out very very best to meet the needs of each person. So double up rounds (2 carers) are being looked at to see if there are ways that one carer can do the same as 2 (calm down no need to shout). There are ways but this means equipment and I mean the very best equipment out there that cost money and that will be a big outlay to begin with however, in the end it would save money but also in some cases provide a better care experience. We need the care providers on board with this but so many see the £ signs for double up and do not want to budge. However, luckily I assess in one place that are open to looking at the change and to look at what this means to the people they support. Never, in any legislation does it state 2 carers must hoist yet care companies work on the proviso which is incorrect. What it does say is safe use, meeting the needs, assessing the risk and adapting to ensure correct equipment.
So come on lets look at this and lets see how it will help, so if your a person out their that is caring for the loved ones and they need hoisting work with the providers to look at the systems in place. If you a carer be open minded to listen and to try. For carers who are unpaid maybe the new pieces of equipment out there will be better. Please check out this research and also the equipment.
I am lucky enough now to be able to go to an awareness session to understand more about using equipment suitable for one carer to do. I am open minded regarding if it works and how it will benefit. I feel at times people are sat waiting for 2 carers to turn up (I witness this at one care company and it was very distressing to see a lady desperate to use the facilities and couldn’t as other carer hadn’t turned up). Also the amount of times I have had to tell people to not talk over a person to each other about their own bloody lives. So if this stops that then surely its worth a go. SAFELY, RESPECTFULLY and INCLUSIVELY .
Working together will help and will ensure the BEST OUTCOME BASED CARE
Why do people make resolutions what are they for? Is it to make them feel they have a plan of action or is it to make the world a better place?
I am always baffled by the making of a new years resolutions as surely when you break them you feel like you failed and this will surely do the opposite of what a resolution is made for.
As I see it instead of a resolution write a bucker list of possibilities not over expectations and not set in concrete. My dear friend Valerie (not longer with us) used to pin on her fridge her aims and possibilities for the year ahead which we always joked about. However, after yesterday and my fiancée mentioning that we should do a list I have decided to start our own. The list will consist of things we hope to buy, things we hope to do, improvements we hope to complete and personal well-being.
First job on the list completed and after clearing out the cupboard I am going to utilise the container that I found with loose change in it and commence the second item on the list and that is to add to this container after each day with any loose change in my purse.
So I forego tradition resolution and opt for stealing Valerie’s idea and do a year of possibilities. Oh and another item to be added will be a Wedding date and a theme so as my pinterest doesn’t look like I am having a breakdown of ideas
Wow! what a great day today I have had at work, well not exactly at work, at a conference with an amazing guest Professor Winston. He was simply brilliant, inspiring and just simply engaging. What he had to say about health care was spot on and that there is a way to go to get it right and we can not really plan to what will happen. Yes people are living longer and therefore more care is going to be required. One of the most heart wrenching but comforting things he shared was that there is proof that someone who maybe in a coma or lost due to another condition can seemingly hear you. So those words you say have to be caring, loving, nurturing and encouraging when talking to someone who is silent.
So as I see it, time is now to get care right, to improve care for all, to nurture potential that is out there and value the people who are caring and supporting our most very vulnerable people (our loved ones). Yes! I hear the cry there are many carers who do an amazing job but why are you not telling people about it and sharing these good news stories. The requirements need to be changed to not have people just relevantly trained we need people properly trained, from 16 onwards to provide care. Soft skills (how to communicate, how to work as team and what values are) are just as important as knowing how to administer medication for one example. I am not saying you need a degree but I am saying you need some formal training to support people. You need to show you can support someone in a way they want to be cared for or supported. Lets hear peoples needs and lets observe what they want.
The other day I wrote a poem but after today I changed it. I hope it resonates with people (I am not a poet or writer so please bare with).
Please see me
When you look at me
What do you see?
When you talk to me
What do you hear?
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
All I ask is,
Don’t ignore me
Know that what you say I can hear
I maybe silent but I am here.
I am not who I was
I am not who I thought I was
I am lost
I am hidden
So I ask you
Please look at me
Please see me
Please talk to me
I wish I could answer.
Please listen hard
Please seek me out, I am here.
Please see past my silence
See past the shell
See me for who I was and not just who I am now.
Frustration of the written word….. its simple tonight I have typed, deleted, typed, deleted (not many swear words) and then repeated this process far to many times. I now feel I must have Bloggers Block (I can see my kids squirming and rolling their eyes at me). I have lots I want to say and could say but none of it is translating into written word. So here I am yet again thinking of my next Blog while I type this load of rubbish just so I feel I have at least written something and not wasted my time.
So anyone who can give me some inspiration or even just if you need to tell me to stop rambling feel free to do so.
I am doing this Blog to try to bring a community together who work hard on a daily basis, who provide a service that is immeasurable to the people who require the support. I thought I could get people to join in and speak about care, to offload to ask question to gain some advice or guidance.
However, trying to find light-hearted news stories or good care news is really hard, is that because the media gain so much more reporting failings and poor care providers or is that because we talk openly about ‘bad’ care but forget to promote ‘good’ care.
We need to commence a push for good news we need to get care providers, inspectors to talk loudly about the ‘good’ as well as the ‘bad’. Care is a growing industry and does require inspectors/family members/carers to speak up about poor and abusive practice but we also need them to talk about care homes that are doing exceptional work to provide an environment that meets all needs.
So if you have any good news stories please add it in the comment box.