From Mary Ransom, Totland:
Well done Claire Groves (Human face of care crisis, CP 25-11-16).
In March, I started caring for my dad because my mum (90 next birthday) was exhausted.
We fell into a social services black hole — I had a vision of both my parents finishing up in a care home and me in a mental hospital.
We had weeks of distress and chaos. Eventually, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many in the health and care system, things settled.
But, once again, we find ourselves uncomfortably close to crisis (at the moment, respite is the issue).
Ironically, if we can’t look after dad at home, the ultimate cost to social services will be far greater than their current contribution to dad’s direct care costs.
There are other costs. There’s the emotional cost to the family. We’ve seen how stressful dad finds even the best of care homes.
Life in a care home would be distressing and frightening for dad and heartbreaking for us if we had to give up because care services lack the funding they need.
There is another cost. My dad, despite his dementia, his lack of mobility and his pain, has a lively sense of humour.
His carers enjoy working with him, he sends them away chuckling, the good humour and sense of well-being spreads.
When he is distressed and frightened, his first response is anger, which turns to indifference, despair, lack of response.
This also is communicated and spreads to other people.
It’s a cost difficult to recognise, impossible to measure, but unhappily not without impact.