It is time to address the fact that I am now Maureen’s Care Partner rather than her husband. As I argued in yesterday’s blog: From Husband to Care Partner the change of role comes with a diagnosis of dementia. So as with any role there needs to be a Job Description and Terms and Conditions of Employment. What follows is a draft Job Description that I have edited from a document on the Internet.
Care Partner for Maureen
- The role of the Care Partner is to perform duties and tasks to enable Maureen to continue living within the comfort of her own home in a safe and secure way. To offer a level of care which promotes; dignity, respect and choice.
What the role involves
Deliver Companionship & Personal Care
- Deliver companionship and personal care in line with Maureen’s bespoke Care Plan.
- Companionship duties may include:
- Providing support and encouragement to empower Maureen to lead an independent lifestyle
- Providing companionship and conversation
- Shopping for the weekly essentials
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Joining and assisting in hobbies or crafts
- Accompanying Maureen to appointments
- Driving Maureen to desired places
- Communicating with healthcare professionals on Maureen’s behalf
- Personal Care may additionally involve:
- Assisting Maureen to get up, dressed and preparing her for the day
- Assistance with eating
- Assisting with prescribed medication
- Working closely with other care professionals such as GPs
- Assisting Maureen to go to bed
- Recording and Reporting:
- To report if there are any changes or causes of concern in a Maureen’s condition.
- Health and Safety
- To ensure that Maureen’s environment is safe, secure and dementia friendly.
Drafting a Job Description is fairly simple. Sorting out the Terms and Conditions of Employment are more problematic. I suppose you could argue this is all part of the Marriage Contract: ‘until death us do part’. However, I think there are caveats in the deal somewhere; with both parties have rights as well as responsibilities.
The other issue of course is what is the working week? Can anyone be expected to be on call 24/7 and retain the ability, let alone the energy, to fulfill a very taxing role? There are then issues about line management and support to be considered. It is perhaps sensible to leave these matters until tomorrow. The important aspect of this post is an acceptance of the new reality: I am no longer Maureen’s husband – I am her care partner. Maureen is no longer the woman I married: she has dementia and most of the time the condition calls the shots.