Wednesday 28 August 2013

5 different Care workers on 5 different visits #Dignity

Imagine this, you open the door to a complete stranger, they say hello. Slightly bashful and coy, you invite them upstairs, explaining just how you like it as you go, slowly peeling off your pj's, the ones with the coffee stain and some unidentified yellow substance that might be vom. You look away coyly as they go to help you, brushing your skin with their rubber gloved hands..

Stuttering, you explain hair first, then you can do your front but can they do your back. This stranger you met such a few short minutes ago begins to wash your hair as you sit passively, trying desperately to find some inane small talk to get over the embarrassment you feel at having this stranger wash you because you can't.

This isn't some sexy stranger 50 shades of grey sex romp it's the reality for many people who, like me, have social services funded care.

The first time is always the worst but once you get to know them and they you, and if they are bright and chatty, you eventually get over the "oh God I'm naked and I don't know you" bit.


Imagine if every care visit is like the first time, that you don't always know who will come to your door, that like me you might have five different carers in five visits. Is this OK? Is this what care is?

I can't always verbally explain what I need, sometimes I feel so god awful, brain fogged and sore i don't want to have to explain, or have to tell yet another stranger about my illness or have them look at me and try to hide the obvious "but you don't look sick" thought as it crosses their mind.

We talk a lot about dignity and affording care,but when profit is put before care, when the Care coordinators forget there is a human being on the receiving end of their rota decisions, people like me have just another tiny bit of their humanity stripped away.

I mean would you want to get naked in front of a stranger and let them touch you intimately?

I accept i need it.
I accept someone has to help me.

But I don't accept that it should be OK and when I raise the issue with the agency I'm met with promises to change it. It should never be ok in the first place.

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