June 18 2013

Weekend respite care turned out to be a huge success. My wife is already looking forward to the next time. She was so much more switched on and responsive when we got home on Sunday afternoon. Maintaining that level of engagement is now the major challenge for me. I have no knowledge of what the staff did at the centre apart from the personal care, provide 3 meals a day and a comfortable room with en suite at night- time. Whatever they do they do it well and at the same time respect the dignity and personal space of those people for whom they care.

On the other hand one of the personal care assistants who attends my wife at home has become persona non grata with my wife. The one who went over and above the requirements of the care plan started to become overwhelming and too much to cope with. Last week my wife refused to co-operate with her, and even when I asked the PCA to cool it down a bit she still couldn’t make any head way. The other PCA who attends is a quiet person and not at all pushy and my wife gets on with her very well.

I had an interview with my carer support worker last Thursday. It has been a couple of months since we had a chat and we reviewed where we are at in this caring role. I mentioned the problem with the PCA and  Judy said she would take the matter up with the local council who provide the service. She was pleased to hear that my wife was having respite care for the weekend. Judy’s role is to provide support for me, not for my wife. This is done by making connections with training courses, day centres, council in home services, and extended aged care in the home (known as an EACH(dementia). This last one is the one we are still on a waiting list to access. We have been approved for the service but there is not enough funding or personnel to deliver the service to all those who need it.

During my free weekend I spent some time trawling the internet and found some interesting thoughts by other carers on the role of caring for our contemplation:

The carer unthanked a shoulder to cry on
One who loves life and the burden upon
Late nights and early morns without complaint
End of the day all the stress we clean the slate
Next day has dawned — same routine and problems we face
If you think we complain your right off base
We care for people less fortunate than us
If we could take the pain that would be a plus
All we have is love and care and extra hands
God for us has given special plans
From the words of ‘THE MAN’ we have insight
My yoke is strong my burden light
To look on our life as hard is so unfair
The one’s we care for have much more to bear.

by Dennis Two Eagles

Caring
On a Bad day I perform….

Conscientiously

Artfully
Repetitively
Irritatingly
Naturally
Grievously

On a Good day I perform…

Conscientiously
Artfully
Repetitively
Irritatingly
Naturally
Gladly

by Jennifer Pont

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