Expanding SUPA & Problems Page 05

My key questions to input at the time were:

  1. Why it was assumed that the existence of a married couple in a home of a dementia afflicted person meant that social services would not be involved, when the demand was for them to be involved on a regular basis, in particular as an external reference point for the dementia person undergoing personality behaviour deterioration as well as providing advice for those doing the caring?

  2. Why was the overall impression that of a minimum service, something akin to a fire brigade at emergency points only, indeed waiting for moments of stress and emergency, instead of prevention of stress and emergency through a higher quality service?

  3. Why is it that instead of service regularity stabilising situations, called-in social worker involvement becomes tied up with potential family-conflict behaviour that needs minimal investigation?

Such questions lead to highly rejectionist attitudes towards users and carers helping social services training. Under such frustration, an answer to an approach to assist might even be hostile.
And now someone I know has given up fill time work precisely in order to avoid professional social care input and the perceived threat of residential care. I occasionally give advice from my experience. I see ahead a path of potential carer self-destruction via those bizarre nonsense-logic conversations one has with a personality going strange, aided by the mindless pap of daytime television as a palliative for the one who loses even the simplest ability to control the equipment.

One answer to my questions about my experiences is money: the resources are not there. But the attitude of intervention and its purpose can change, and towards training, and the service itself. Furthermore, social work for the elderly gets tied up with "staying out" of family divisions that happen around someone undergoing a thousand deaths.
So much will depend on politics. The rapid move to collaboration away from competition after 1997 may change again. One wonders if, say, the proposed The Big Society is nothing other than a smaller state, existing on a shoestring budget.

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Adrian Worsfold