Today Elizabeth and I have been helping someone who we have known for many years (an elderly lady who is now very disabled and living at home). She cannot walk, speak and has to write everything down on pieces of paper. A few weeks ago I bought her a board to write on but she has gone back to writing on pieces of paper again. Today I met with her social worker as a new agency has just taken over and it would appear no information has been passed between existing and current agencies as far as access to money is concerned so carers have no money to buy milk, bread and essentials and then I get a call that shopping is required. There must have been previous access to funds prior to this agency taking over as there was never any problems like this. Because there is no money to buy shopping this had led to a situation where there is no milk, bread and basics in terms of food. Myself and carers have had to go out and buy food etc more than once. It was attempted by the social worker today to try and take her to her bank but there was no wheelchair or transport arranged and I had to drive to a neighbouring area to pick up a wheelchair. She refused to go in the wheelchair and I was handed another shopping list of things that were needed. After I had done her shopping I took Elizabeth home and had to go back with the shopping and food I had purchased for her.
My thoughts turned to Elizabeth who has had nothing since nineteen months having come home from care but then that is understandable as she has not wanted to speak to the social services team as they have been so nasty behind our backs but today we saw another team of social services who I have previously had good experience with in their support for my father who had Alzheimers. Social Services have now taken control of the matter but it is not a good situation where you are asked to do shopping and there is no means of reimbursement right before Christmas, especially when there is no support for the person you care for (Elizabeth) which means expenditure falls on my shoulders. What is happening when there is a Better Care Fund.
I think I have been blacklisted. I always used to hear about all events going on at the local carers centre but now hear nothing and am no longer invited or informed of their parties or events or even receive literature. They were the first people I turned to when Elizabeth came home from the care home but like many organisations, they rely on funding and I suppose this is why we never hear anything any more from them like we used to.
I cannot really sum up any enthusiasm for Christmas this year and have struggled to plan and look forward to this occasion as I once used to. Every Christmas I take dinner to the elderly lady and I think that Christmas is a very sad time for so many people, especially those you who are elderly and alone or under mental health care and isolated for instance. At one time, I had my father who had Alzheimers also to visit and cater for at Christmas. I shall be thinking of those who are deprived of being with their families (and I know several such cases under MH care) I would like to feature such cases on my website where young people are being long term incarcerated for many years and some do not get out yet many cases are not cases where patients are violent and a threat to others. I remember one year when Elizabeth was brought home a week or so prior to Christmas Elizabeth was flanked by two nurses whilst at Cambian like a prisoner. It took hours to drive from Wales all the way to my home in London and because of bad traffic on the roads she only had about two hours at home before they had to set off back to Wales. Now I can see that the rest of the family were treated differently and were granted unescorted leave and extra leave compared to me.
I am very happy now that Elizabeth is back home as also when someone is away from the local area there is no support or having to stay in overnight accommodation and this can mount up. I just wish that something can be done for the other cases so that young people are not deprived of leave with their families at Christmas which I think is a breach of human rights and this is going on in the UK today not being reported in the press.