Another day at home with the twins, another day to think

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I’d like to say something exciting about today but nothing really happened. An agency emailed me back about the CV I sent them yesterday and they’re sending out an application form. It’s for direct payment work in the community so in theory i’ll be able to choose my own hours and choose clients which appeal to me so I could end up with a good range of work which would be fab.

Today i’ve spent a lot of time looking at the different types of care roles, working out the kind of things I can do and there are more things I can do than those I can’t. Realised that one of the big charities i’d applied to is a double tick employer so as someone with a disability I should almost certainly get an interview, they’ve got 33 jobs advertised and are not asking for any experience which given that I have plenty should stand me in good stead.

I got to thinking about the jobs I’d had and what I liked about caring and I realised it was very simple. Being a carer I could always be myself which in school and my work like prior to that I could never do. Working in the daycare centre as a volunteer I loved to sit down on a lunchtime with the clients and share a meal – even if it meant cutting stuff up for someone or helping someone else choose something to eat. To me it wasn’t work, it came naturally. I love nothing more than solving problems and the biggest satisfaction for me used to come when a simple idea like using flashcards to enable a stroke victim to ask for a drink or to go to the toilet, paid off and they went from being angry and frustrated to someone focused on recovery. I loved it when I got to work and there’d be a message for me to go and see a client to discover that they wanted to share the news of a birth of a great grandchild or to show me a response to a letter i’d helped them to write.

I’m not saying care work is a bed of roses. Often a shortage of staff means that you are working long hours and don’t get time to provide people with the social support they need. It’s simply a case of chuck them on a commode and throw them in bed because you’ve got 29 other people to put to bed and only 2 of you to do it. Other times you’ve got people in totally the wrong setting, for example people who have mental health problems or who need nursing care and the medical staff who are meant to be supporting you simply don’t.

Things are improving but with government cuts it is a huge worry to me. I’m a disabled person so the cuts affect me personally. My motability car which enables me to take my daughter to school without help and which means I can work is at risk and that is very very scarey. I’m also a carer and I worry for people who are currently receiving support services to access community services. We shut down daycare centres saying people should access things in the community, we took away people’s community and placed a whole new burden on often elderly parents. Now i’m not saying the closures were a bad thing – often it was just a case of containment and although staff would do their best to provide education there was widespread agreement that it wouldn’t really make much difference in a lot of cases. Trouble is that if you then take away the person who takes our client to the cinema and to their voluntary job then you are isolating people and taking them back to the 1920s when there was no provision at all for people with learning difficulties and they faced life in hospitals or being cared for by their families.

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