How do you tell a good care company for a bad one? It’s a question I have been grappling with for the last two weeks. I am in the midst of what they call personalisation. Basically, at the moment, we only pay part of the cost of my care, the rest of the bill is picked up by the local council, but as things are, I can only ask for care from the council run carers, Cordia. My social worker has made up a pack of information about my needs and so on, to put to the council and if they approve, the equivalent amount that they pay to Cordia will become my personal budget. From there on, I can choose anyone to supply my care, that I feel is best for me. The meeting with the budgeting department takes place later this week and by that point, I have to narrow a list of six companies that operate in my area, to just three. It’s really hard to know which ones to pick when I know nothing about any of them.

It was really easy to get one off the list, as my searches online, showed that the police are investigating them, for a case of cruelty towards one of their clients. Other than that, I couldn’t find a single thing online that is independent of the companies own sites, by way or reviews, complaint or recommendation. All I really have to go on is what they say about themselves, and of course, the Care Commission reports. I spent most of yesterday afternoon, trawling through pages and pages of information, that at the best was dry and at worst mind-numbingly boring. Reading reports and so on is something I am finding more and more difficult. I get through one paragraph and can’t remember the one before. I simply spent ages going around in circles. On nothing but small niggly little things, I took two of the list, but I still have one too many. There really isn’t anything to separate the remaining four, and I would have been surprised if there were. So how do I choose? What on earth are you supposed to do and how do you know if you’re right or not? It really is coming down to whether I like their site layout and design or not, and I know that sounds flippant, but how do you choose these things with so little to go on. Once we have our budget approved, well then I can contact them, have them round to the house and if you like, we can interview them. Something I am equally not really looking forward to.

To be brutally honest, even though the care is for me, I really could do without all of this. I don’t actually feel up to it. I know it’s not the way life works, but in all honestly, I just wish this entire part was over and done with. I wish that I had been satisfied with Cordia, but between them not always being able to supply a carer at the agree time, or being able to send them even to the correct address on two occasions, well my confidence in them has been knocked. They have at last managed to supply continuity in who is here, but that has only happened in the last three weeks. Prior to that, it just kept changing. The carer who is showering me now is fine with most of the work that I ask her to do, apart from two things. Firstly, she has bad knees and winces and groans every time she goes down on them to dry and cream my feet. Clearly, I have empathy for her pain, which makes me feel bad about asking her to do it. Secondly, her favorite topic of conversation is how badly her manager is organising things and her likes and dislikes, of other members of staff. I was never one for gossip, even when I knew the people concerned, but I don’t and that somehow, makes it even worse.

On the upside, ahead of the budget meeting, I have already been approved for the Pendant Alarm. They phoned me yesterday, to let me know that they will be here to fit the sensor and set up my alarm for me on the 27th. When they were on the phone, they questioned the fact we had put down only Adam, as an emergency contact. I explained that there really wasn’t anyone else and that we had looked into having a keysafe fitted, but due to the fact that the outside of our building is made of sandstone, it wasn’t suitable. She then told me that they could hold the key which would give them enter to the close, but not the keys to our actual flat. We would then require a keysafe, fitted to the wall by our flat door to hold the keys for that one, that wall is made of brick and does meet all the requirements. Not only could we have the keysafe, but they would fit it for us as well, saving us the £60 fitting that they company wanted if we asked them to do the work. This was something that hadn’t been suggested before, I thought straight away that it was a great idea. So I went online and I bought one, all Adam has to do this weekend, is go and get some keys cut. The doorbell went this morning, and there was a delivery man, with a parcel for me. I couldn’t think for the life of me what it was, especially when I took hold of it and nearly dropped it. Its weight was over 2kilos according to the label, but it told me nothing else and I still didn’t have a clue what was inside, but there it was, our keysafe.

I am actually finding all this coming and going, form filling, changes and phone calls that I have to respond to, rather overpowering and even somewhat disturbing. If I look back even just to four months ago, my life has been turned and twisted in ways I never thought of and I quite honestly don’t recognise it as mine. In some ways, I do feel and see the benefit of it, but I would just love for everything to settle down and become quiet as it used to be, but it’s something I doubt it will ever be again. I realised the other day that once I start having someone here to cook my lunch for me, I am not going to have a single day to myself, which is something I’m not sure I want. I have spent so many years where my weekdays have been mine, which I actually loved, but now, every day is being eaten into, even if it is for only 15 minutes when the nurse is here to administer an enema, it’s still a day disrupted. For that reason, I am thinking about changing the lunches to just three times a week, then I can still have my two days of isolation. It wouldn’t hurt me to have two days of cold food, after all, that’s mainly what I have lived on for years. I still have time to think about that one, unlike the choice of the company who I’m going to employ as my disruptor.


Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 22/09/2014 – A new peace

It feels like this week has lasted forever and all I have been doing throughout all of it is a fight to make myself better. I already know that the antibiotics have failed in what they were supposed to do, they may have shown up other problems and saved me from a spell in hospital, but they haven’t managed to cure the ‘Things’ they….