Thursday 17 December 2015

Guest Blogs - Don't forget carers at Christmas by Linda Edwards

By Linda Edwards

At the age of 90 years my mother has recently moved into a third care home.  Below is a copy of our Festive Greetings to the care staff and management of mum's new care home.  I share this with you because carers are so often not valued by their management and at last we have found a care home that respects, values, cares for and about their staff and residents.

 Dear Friend

 I write to you as a 'friend' because each and every one of you have demonstrated many of the virtues and attributes of friendship towards my mother in her 'winter' years.  

 Mum has not been used to enough kindness in her life time and each time you have had a connection with her, you have demonstrated kindness, gentleness, compassion, caring and love.  Whether this has been through personal care, feeding, emptying a bin, making her bed, cleaning, chatting or greeting her family so that we may enjoy a happy visit.   

 I have always experienced positive and proactive communication within your working 'family'.  This culture is so rare for vulnerable people and I feel so grateful to have you in my mother's life.    I believe you have the most precious and privileged job in the world.   The responsibility of how you fulfil your responsibility is dependent on management and on your own integrity, conscience and commitment to making vulnerable people's lives the best it can be.

 At this time of year when many of you are caring for other people's family and many miles away from your own family, I send you my love and appreciation.  I truly value the love, care, compassion and kindness you have shown to mum and that I see you give to other residents.

 Thank you all.

 With love
 linda edwards
 Linda Edwards has been a family carer and involved in the social care system most of her adult life.  She has experienced the best and worst in caring, compassion, empathy, competence and integrity for vulnerable people.  Most often, bad practice has arisen from bad management where there is a culture of fear, secretiveness, mistrust and defensiveness.  This culture results in carers feeling devalued, often dehumanised and in turn, translates to vulnerable people being ignored, neglected and uncared for.   

 Whilst exposing bad practice, we need to celebrate good management and care. Please celebrate with us in acknowledging and thanking everyone we meet who is giving care to vulnerable people.  We too are very likely to be recipients of social care in the future.

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