A carer’s tale
Please read my stories with an open mind and heart. I write these stories as entertainment and to record my stories as a carer not to blame or offend anyone.
I could hear him pottering around opening and closing drawers around the bedrooms and study. After about 15 minutes I inquired what it was exactly that he was looking for. Mr.J.’s looked like Joker from Batman in one of his bad moment. He was frantic! His black razor had gone. It had disappeared from the bathroom.
I felt gobsmacked and lost. I had no idea how the razor looked like or where to look for them. There was a drawer full of razors but he claimed that none of them worked and the blue and black one was not the one he was looking for.
Since he started to get very agitated and nervous about the fact that he will not be able to shave this morning, I sent a message to his regular carer and Mr.J.’s daughter to see if they knew anything about the whereabouts of the razors. No answer.
I went back to the drawer with the piling razors. I took them downstairs to see what was wrong with them. I changed the batteries and the heads and went back to see if one of them could work for Mr. J. He was happy to see one that was believed to be lost. And now he was still cross that he only had ONE and what we to do if this one gets lost or breaks, there wasn’t another to replace it. And this one was not the black one he was looking for, anyway.
Weight off, at least there was one now he could use.
The daughter called to enlighten me about the black razor. It turned out that the one he was looking for was the blue and black one that was in the drawer with the others. After he finished shaving I gave him the ‘black’ one, too. He was surprised and asked where I had found it. He put it in one of the drawers of his study for safekeeping.
Well, just another morning …
Let me vent a bit here a bit.
What actually bugs me about most of my stories is how lonely I feel in this job. There is nowhere to turn to. The agency has no idea what is happening with each client. In most cases the client profile handbooks have not been updated for years. They are so out of date that they are only good for dust collecting. In my experience they are not very practical they contain a bundle of info that is completely useless. I am sure it meets all regulatory requirements however it lacks information that would be useful for the carer. For example it would be great if it offer information on the particularly dementia the customer has. Each dementia client has a unique set of – how shall I call it? – triggers and/or characteristics that is specific to the client. The client folder understandably contain information about all the safety feature of the house we must be aware of so not to burn the house down. However, there is not information on the uniqueness of the patient. The agency does not seem to inquire about such distinct characteristics. Neither does it require the carer’s to make notes on their observations or make reports on the changes in the client’s conditions so cover carers were better informed. So, carers pass these very important information down to one another verbally in the manner of tale telling, hoping that whatever is left out the carer on duty will find the way to handle it.
If I had known that this particular customer has OCD tendencies and a ‘tick’ with hiding things and then not finding them, I would have kept a closer eye on his personal items to make sure I do not lose sight of them. So, when he looks for them, I could present them instead of going down on a rather stressful spiral of not finding something that has not actually been lost only misplaced.
We are asked to keep a record of daily happenings placed with the MARchart in the ‘blue bible’. I suspect the biggest problem with this recording is that it is very personal. Every carer has a different idea of how to write these reports, additionally, many carers do not speak (write) good enough English to write in detail. On the other hand, some carers write their whole life story in the notes. Both make it rather had to read and follow what is happening with the carer. One must rely on the verbally passed down info that is often not very thorough.