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Fragile Support

October 28, 2013

Crap example on how reliant we are for the support workers to do their bit.

We’ve had a new guy for the past 3 weeks for the Sunday shift. He gets a break between 1pm and 2.30pm. Yesterday, he came back about 3pm and I then usually get an hour to do stuff until I start to cook Steven’s tea. So, I started to clear the kitchen cupboards in preperation for the move. Within about 5 minutes of returning, he went upstairs (I assumed he was tidying up Steven’s bedroom). By 4.30, I’d dished up Steven’s tea and he still hadn’t come back. I went upstairs to find him fast asleep on Steven’s bed. I honestly thought for one awful moment he’d died as I couldn’t wake him up. Eventually he did, all full of apologies.

Today, he was covering a shift for one of the other workers who is on leave and turned up nearly 2 hours late. I’m meant to be going up to Birmingham for the conference but won’t be able to leave now until mid afternoon and we’ve had to cancel Steven’s trip to the arts centre this morning as there won’t be time to fit everything in. Steven would still expect to follow his normal routine when he gets there but it would mean adding the 2 hours missed by his lateness onto the afternoon instead. The same guy is meant to be covering the 5pm to 9pm shift later today but it makes me very nervous as I won’t be around.

Sometimes, support feels very fragile.


From → Social Care

  1. In the name of god and all that’s holy……..I would have banged him into touch and never let him work with my son again……….. and report him to the agency………

  2. Sally permalink

    I’m so sorry you have this extra worry. It is very difficult to know what on earth to say to support workers who are late/sleepy (!) or generally unreliable, however nice they are personally. We are so dependant on them and fragile support can feel better than nothing-if you gently let the worker know that he’s expected to keep to his hours and kip at home, and he departs in a huff or just fails to show up at all, you’ll be risking a gap while another one is found and living with the doubt about who on earth will turn up next ! Glad he wasn’t actually dead..

  3. Magi permalink

    And whilst the fragile care is late, ill or sleeping, we the parents are always there unconditionally ……..

  4. Eileen Grace permalink

    Hi – there’s always something to worry about. I don’t know if that support worker was shattered by all the hours he was doing or not, but it would def set my nerves on edge. Support has to be absolutely reliable for all concerned.

  5. I’m away in Canada right now having engaged 24 hour care for my daughter. I won’t bore you with the 3 months of preparation but I have a horrible fear that I am relying on the unreliable.

  6. Oh lord! Having raised an autistic child myself I would be extremely nervous about leaving my daughter in that man’s care. I am not saying this to alarm you but to support your intuition. Of course, my daughter was “a runner”, too, and had health issues, so Steven sounds more stable/safer (if I dare say that…I think you know what I mean). What am I saying? I don’t know Steven or his habits/routines. Sorry for the presumption.

    Worrying/fearing for our children feels like pain and our minds/bodies respond to the stress as if it is pain. This I know as I’m being treated for PTSD now. You’re an amazing father. Truly, I believe this.

    I sincerely wish I lived where you do so I could help. We had the grace to be aided by family and community in the care of our daughter without having to rely on strangers for support to the degree you do. My heart aches for that.

    Since I have ‘met’ you and Steven online I am glad you continue to update us on your daily lives. I appreciate that. I care. I look forward to the day I hear that you have more of the same programs and level of freedom for Steven and yourself as we have here in my community in Canada.


  7. lisa permalink

    I once came home 15 minutes late to find my sons carers had gone home leaving my son home alone! He even still had his coat and shoes on where they had dropped him in and fucked off!! Just to say, I was in complete shock and I was never ever late back again. In hindsight I should have dismissed them then. It wasn’t long after that, over something else, I got rid of them.

  8. Weary Mother permalink

    We families who live with a care agency as part of our day to day lives, live in a universe quite different to those who do not. Agency carers are, supposedly, there to lift our load but too often soon become the load.

    My son’s last carer stole hours and hours of care time from him, This carer kept my son’s parking badge for months finding it by a miracle in their own car. This carer routinely turned up late went early. And a period of freak ‘bad luck’ saw new electrical equipment break and be disposed of ‘at the tip’, as a ‘kindness’ by this carer. Nothing proved. But my son got used to this carer and as already said, we fear to complain in case we get even worse next time. And when things get too bad or dangerous, complaints are met by, ‘we cant tell you, ‘ freedom’ of information’ ‘.

    This local authority openly states that it contracts for lowest cost. Long gone is the big fib,of seeking ‘best value’
    Agency carers earn pennies, and are exploited. They can find that the only benefit the job provides is an opportunity to exploit our sons and daughters. The powerless feeding off the weakest.

  9. Mark. Would you have moved to the flat knowingly the foundations were rotten or fragile? Support needs to be strong or the entire structure will collapse.

  10. Hi Mark,

    It’s not consolation to say this to you… but it’s a shit world… Although I think you’ve already worked that out.

    The plight of your blog today, is not about money…… it’s about the fuck you world we live in. You see people can justify this carers attitude by saying he is poorly paid etc…but it’s more simple than that…

    He is stealing from you.

    By turning up late and making you late/miss appointments, he is stealing your time. We are given a fixed amount of time in this life, and this carers attitude is to steal time from yours. He might not see it that way, but that is exactly what he is doing. When he is asleep on the bed, what does he think everyone else is doing ? When he turns up late, does he think everyone else is running late ?

    Unfortunately no one taught him the manners of respect, and that is not about employer teaching employees the rules of the game, it’s about him, as a human being having self respect, to respect others instead of shitting on their door step.

    In this world we do not have to love one another, but when you are being paid to do a job of work, no matter how piss poor you think the pay is, you should do that work with the utmost of respect for those who are to benefit from that work.

    I grew up in an impoverished back ground, but it did not stop my parents from instilling in me the demand for respect in my self and everything I did. If I had grown up to be a toilet cleaner, no matter how little the reward, my bogs would be the cleanest nicest ones to ever be shat in….

    Reading your blog, it says it as it is…. I suspect your bogs would be the same too……

    So as I started off by saying, it’s no consolation…. but you are heard, even by strangers to you, like me…….. and as a punishment for stealing your time ?…… next time you find the fooker asleep when he should be working, throw a bucket of piss on him….and tell him it came from one of the cleanest bogs he would ever see….. bet the piss would wake him quick enough….. and trust me, I doubt he go to sleep on the job again..

    keep blogging Mr Mark, there is a place in heaven for you…….. So says Mitch Albom

  11. Meg permalink

    That is appalling Mark. I sincerely hope you informed his manager. I loathe people who give a poor representation of this job I so love

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