age, carers, Dementia, Uncategorized

Letter from a Carer

 

Dear Doctor,
Why is it so hard for professionals to see my mum as I see her? Why do we see a different person every time we go to the practice? There is no chance of anyone building a relationship with my mother that she can trust. Why do we see different people, for various aspects of her health? Why can’t she see someone who will treat her as a whole person, and plan her care holistically and work with me as her carer. I believe there was a standard that all elderly people should have a named GP who will co-ordinate her care. I am not aware this has happened for my mum. In fact, the junior staff seem unaware of this standard. Over 75 Named GP 2013

She is 85 and she has signs of dementia. However, she passes every one of your silly tests as they test her intelligence not her short-term memory. She greets everyone she sees with a smile and puts on a great vocal performance, but she is extremely anxious that professionals will interfere in her life and want to put her in a home. I know she has signs of dementia/Alzheimer’s. Her short-term memory is very poor. But if she sees different people every time she does not get a chance to build a relationship or any memory at all that she can trust and value. They also can only assess her on the ten minutes they have available. It is not long enough. She cries with me afterwards as she does not like “these strangers” taking over her life. I try to reassure her that we all want the best and will try our utmost to keep her at home for as long as possible. But continuity of carer would be a distinct bonus.
She won’t give permission for a “falls assessment” despite being very wobbly on her legs. We laugh and we call her “Mrs wobbly”. But she is scared her legs are going to let her down and she won’t be able to walk. She knows intelligently that occupational therapists are there to help but she does not want strangers in her house. Telling her what she can and cannot do. The beaurocracy of it all means that unless she consents no one can do anything. That is poor support of me her carer who might need aids to assist my mum’s wellbeing. Surely the staff could spend more time and build a relationship over time so that she does trust them and welcomes them into her home.
I suspect I am dreaming in this modern world of the NHS when only ten-minute appointments are offered. This is not long enough for my mum. I know that there are specialist nurses now taking on the role of doctors in the surgery, however it would be great if one could be specialist in dementia/elderly support. My mum cannot be processed. She can’t be seen quickly and sent on her way. But we are made to feel that we are holding things up when she begins to talk and reminisce.
I as a carer have registered as such now. Just so that someone knows I am out there caring for my mum. But I cannot do it alone and need professional support to respect my opinion and help us care for my mother together.

With kind regards

Her Carer

 

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