All Change in the Morning
In addition to my excellent Access to Work support workers and the personal assistants I employ directly through my Individual budget, I also get help each morning from an agency carer.
For most of my support I prefer to employ people directly. This means I have control over who supports me and when, and for most parts of my life this works best. But because my support workers live all over London it’s difficult for them to provide the help I need regularly, but for short periods only.
So each morning an agency carer comes to help me get up, wash and get ready for work. Although this carer is employed by the agency I usually have the same person every day and for the last few months it’s been Veronica, seven days a week.
Veronica has become a regular part of life at the castle. She’s joyful and chatty and she supports me with sensitivity and kindness. Veronica and I have an established morning routine which helps set me up for the day. She makes me breakfast, helps with the washing up and is at the end of the alarm if I fall or have a fit in the shower.
Tomorrow my morning routine will change as she’s going away for a couple of months. This morning was our last together for a while, and it was a nice one. I was glad to have a chance to thank her for all her help and to give her a going-away present.
Providing support for someone in their home is personal and intimate and if a carer doesn’t recognise this and isn’t friendly or respectful it can be very upsetting and unsettling. Fortunately I’ve had very few bad experiences and lots of great ones. From tomorrow I’ll be helped by a new carer. I’m looking forward to getting to know her and to seeing how my morning routine evolves.