Friday, 11 February 2011

Cutlery carer and co

Now, before you read any further, I should make it clear that the majority of the women who come from A Care Agency Ltd (name changed to protect the guilty) are nice, friendly, helpful, people. By far the majority, actually. The fact remains, though, that in the time I've been receiving care I've encountered some...well, let's just call them characters. Let me introduce some of them.

Cutlery carer
Many of my friends are used to hearing my stories about "cutlery carer". Her speciality (and that of her apprentices) is putting things back in totally the wrong places. It could be the forks in the spoon section of the drawer (hence the name...), the plates in a pile on top of the cooker, the tumblers (entirely randomly) in with the cat food instead of on the window sill directly where she'd been looking while washing up...I spend a lot of my life on a kind of treasure hunt.

Too fussy and can't be bothered
I suppose these two are kind of the opposite of each other, so I'll consider them together. "Too fussy" hovers over you, checking you're OK and that everything's being done to your satisfaction till you're just about ready to wallop them! This type can be fine once they calm down a bit. "Can't be bothered" has two sub-types. There's flat-out lazy, about which there's really nothing else to be said. And then there are the ones who actually and genuinely seem to have a mental block about seeing the things that need doing. For three days running they'll step over the basket of washing that needs folding, or not notice the stain on the carpet. Not sure what the answer is with these ones. Are they like this in their own homes?

Speedy Gonzalez

Speedy certainly moves fast and gets a lot done! The only problem is, she gets easily distracted in the middle of one job and goes off to do something else. As a result, I keep finding things like pints of milk sitting out on the worktop hours after she's gone. In the summer.

The hockey captain
...or certainly some kind of school prefect. Does a lot of "jollying along". Isn't interested in the fact that I'm not up to a shower today. My care plan says I'm due one, so she's damn well going to give me one! Also has a tendency to call me "dear", which leads me to suspect she's forgotten my name.

...and some nasties
Unfortunately, not everyone who does care is a nice, good person, and I've encountered a (very) few of the other sort too - either giving care to me or as a colleague back when I was a carer myself.

I've had some bad experiences with carers who seemed to think they had medical degrees, from the way they pronounced on the course, degree and prognosis of my MS. One told me (repeatedly) that I was lucky to have "such mild MS". Now while there are many, many people worse off than me, I don't think I'm particularly mildly affected either. I eventually sat her down and took her through all my symptoms, one by one. The only MS symptom she had been aware of was mobility problems.

I have also been unfortunate enough to have to deal with a racist, bigoted carer, who chose to spout her views to me. I made an official complaint to the agency about her, and asked never to have her do care for me again.

And really...some people are just plain not nice, not approachable, not sympathetic. I'm not talking about individual personality conflicts, which are inevitable. There are some people who just should not go in for care work.

So, those are the carers I've encountered. How about you?


  1. Ive had the lazy carer, the one who you have never met open the door and first thing they say to you is I hope you havent got alot of work for me today.. hello and you are?

    Ive had the one that tells me I need a nice disabled boyfriend (presumable I couln't pull anyone else) then tells me about a couple she met who are both disabled- dont know how they have sex, que makes throwing up noises.

    Then theres the one that turn up at 6.30am and say time for a shower err you are supposed to be here at 10am? Would you like me to come and wake you 5h early?

    Am presently blessed with cant see it unless it pointed out carer. If you ask to clean cooker will clean cooker but not the soup tipped the inch from the cooker.

    Loving the blog still

  2. Love the blogs Funky and you know i commiserate over the failings of our so called care professionals...i can almost hear Erica telling me the antics of her as well , well done and i look forward to reading more x