Sometimes it takes a complete stranger to confront you with the shortcomings of your situation. When I told a nurse at Grimsby Hospital yesterday morning about the level of carer support that we receive she said: ‘you need more than that.’
Maureen had been taken to the hospital early yesterday morning because of pain in her abdomen. At first, she was cooperative as she remembered her discomfort. Once the pain receded she couldn’t understand why she was being examined. She concluded that it was my well-being that was under the spotlight and began to challenge staff as they attempted to diagnose the source of her pain. Things became really difficult when she was told that she was free to go home.
It took myself and two nurses almost half an hour to persuade Maureen to leave the hospital and get into our car, During that time she was physically aggressive and verbally hostile to anyone who tried to help her.
Next week provides an opportunity to explore how additional carer support goes down with Maureen. Carers will be here for 6 hours on Tuesday and Thursday as some unused hours from Christmas and Boxing Day are reallocated.
On the 15th of January Maureen will be going into Alderlea Care Home for two weeks. We have decided that a two-week Resite Break gives her a better chance to settle in new surroundings and me an opportunity to recover from four weeks of being on very long shifts.
Being a Care Partner is the most difficult job I have ever had in my life and I’ve had some tough ones. It is important that the level of carer support reflects the demands of the role and is increased as things become more challenging.
The nurse who had saw Maureen in action yesterday is right. Our current Support Package is inadequate. It has not kept pace with changes in Maureen’s diagnosis: one of my resolutions for 2018 is to put that right!