Putting the CARE Into Caring

by hrrshr7

My experience of the care sector is, unfortunately, that it is a very mixed bag.

There are brilliant carers and PAs who really care and there are very rude, downright nasty people who need a job, don't want to do the work and thrive on the opportunity to be able to threaten and abuse weak and vunerable people who they believe cannot or will not stand up for themselves or fight back. I, personnally, have been threatened with being left in my own excrement as a punishment and told that if I didn't keep quiet then they would leave and I would not get any dinner. I have been insulted for having my period and when I mentioned, The Care Act 2014, The Equality Act 2010, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - ratified in the UK in 2009, The Human Rights Act and the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, I was met with contempt and hostility by carers and one carer even said to me, "I don't do laws."

Some of the rules that care companies force their carers to obey and then make their service users comply with are also nonsensical. For example, even if you have full mental capacity but are physically disabled the carers are 'not allowed to apply a cream of your choice to your skin for a minor cut or dry patch of skin. They will only apply medication that has been prescribed by a doctor. In theory, i f you had something as trivial as a paper cut but could not reach to put on a small blob of ointment and maybe even something to cover it, they would INSIST that you contacted your doctor and got something prescribed, which would waste your time, the doctor's time and NHS resources. Also, if you want ONE alcoholic drink ONCE OR TWICE a week, they are 'not allowed' to pour it for you so if they pass you the bottle and you can't get the lid off by yourself, then they will put it back in the cupboard. I know that alcohol should be cosumed in moderation and I would not expect them to condone an unhealthy lifestyle, but if disabled people are supposed to live as 'normal' a life as possible, then surely their carers/care companies cannot dictate that service users are teetotal? The issue of bedtime also needs to be addressed. Care companies dealing with community care do not seem to work past 10:00 p.m. which means that their latest call is at 9:30 p.m., which is ridiculous. Disabled people are supposed to be given the freedom to LIVE not merely EXIST. These rules do not seem compliant with, or to reflect the spirit of the law. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2.html

promotes, amongst other things, the rights of disabled people to work and to live full and meaningful lives, to enjoy access to leisure and recreation and to be a part of the community, not isolated from it. How can you go to the cinema or on a date of an evening when carers INSIST that you are home by 9:30 p.m. so that they can put you to bed? How depressing is it on New Year's Eve that you are NOT ALLOWED to even sit with a friend and see in the new year, let alone go out to a party or social gathering because carers INSIST that you are in and ready for them to come at 9:30 p.m. to put you to bed?

Yet, good carers feel undervalued and overworked and consider leaving the care sector for alternative employment, which is a shame. Let's appreciate these good people and rid the care sector of the rotten apples and silly rules. Let us embrace not only the letter of the laws that I have already mentioned but the spirit of them. Let's give disabled people every chance to LIVE the full life that they deserve.

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