(Note: from here on in, I will refer to my wife as MW. Just because it’s easier for me to write here using this abbreviation. I’m not going to give you her name because she doesn’t write here and I feel it’s unfair. You’ll have to make do with MW. Remember this, I’ll be testing you in the future)
OK, I’ve sufficiently recovered my equilibrium to write about what’s angered me over the past few days. The care company that helps MW called to perform an assessment last week. I was honest with the assessor in MW’s needs and told her of the difficulties I face in getting her ready for the day, taking her to the toilet at least 10 times a day, and getting her into bed. The assessor made lots of sympathetic noises and said lots of supportive things while filling in what seemed to be a Domesday Book of a form.
Imagine my surprise when, on Saturday, the care-worker arrived with a fresh text message and a confused expression on her face. She’s been told that under no circumstances is she (or any other care-worker) to assist me in lifting MW at all. This is a bit of a blow. I’m pretty pissed off but a call to my social worker confirms that the care-workers aren’t supposed to help me lift MW. It’s for their health and safety…. mine is something else entirely.
The 45mins/hour in a morning when I get assistance with “lifts” and showering, etc is a boon. Now, most of this assistance is taken away. Now, the care-worker will only make breakfast, shower MW, and help put on continence pants and dressing-gown. I say “only” – this is, of course, some assistance – but the main help ( and therefore the main break ) I was getting was in lifting MW out of bed and around the house until she was in her electric reclining chair in the front room. The social worker asked if care was given to MW while she was in bed. So, in their estimation, it has come to this – being bed bound. Well, screw that. I may rail against Multiple Sclerosis, I may utterly loathe and despise the circumstances that life has provided to the point where I want to flee screaming; but I’ll bloody well get her out of bed. We feel – OK, I feel – very let down.
Further conversations with social worker brings much talk of hoping for movement on re-housing but nothing else in terms of actual practical help. The subject of a short break is again raised but that’s been covered elsewhere on this blog. Can anyone tell me the point of a social services that cares more for the welfare of those tasked to help us than the people they’re trying to help?