Monday, March 08, 2010

Is this really caring?

I'm one of the very fortunate people of my age to have both my mother and my mother-in-law still living and enjoying some degree of independence. Apart from all the joys of having them still around this gives me an insight into the services available to our elderly population. Like most services, they're patchy. When they're good they're very good and when they're bad they're rotten to paraphrase the old nursery rhyme.
There's an entire area of service to the elderly which is often labelled "care". We hear of care homes, nursing care, personal care, carers etc etc. But it's becoming obvious to me that care is being squeezed out of the caring professions. Staff are being told by managers that it's inappropriate to hug someone in distress, that a good-night cuddle is abuse, that touching should be kept to the minimum necessary for safety and health. No matter that the elderly person likes to be cuddled, welcomes physical contact - no. The bureaucrats know best. Why oh why do the many have to suffer because the few abuse their position. Have these faceless beings ever needed reassurance, ever felt lost or lonely? Have they ever thought that good managers will ensure that contact is appropriate?
Thank God there are some carers who are prepared to risk the wrath of the faceless ones in order to make elderly people feel comfortable, loved and cared for in their last months and years. In return they have the satisfaction of knowing that they truly are carers. Long may they live.

No comments: