Carers buried in paper

I have lived with my present carer for 10 years and four months.
She is like family. With her I have been to Ireland, France and
Spain. Her children treat me with respect like I am equal to them.
Her grandchildren see me as someone who will play games with them.
Now because of all the rules and regulations my carer says she
cannot do it any more.

I am moving in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to move but my carer
says she didn’t come into caring to do paperwork but to care. Now
she feels she can’t do it any more. The government is getting
councils to make life better for people with learning difficulties
but it just seems to make lots more paperwork. The council is not
asking people with learning difficulties about the changes they are
making. There is no communication and they are upsetting lots of

Before the changes, the three of us in my house had the same
placement officer. Now we don’t so the carer has to talk to two
different officers. They are sending letters and telling the carers
what they can and what they can’t do. The carers have to read all
these letters and it’s too much to do as well as care. They have to
write down everything we do – it’s not fair.

I have such a busy life my carer would spend all her time writing
about me. I don’t want someone else writing down my life. If I want
it written down I’ll do it myself and get someone to help me.

The officer who used to come and see us moved to a different part
of town. My new placement officer is a man. They did not ask me if
I wanted him. He is very nice – I’ve got nothing against him but
I’d rather have a woman. You can talk to a woman about women’s
things that I am too embarrassed to talk to a man about. I am
helping to choose where I will move to. I went to look at three
different places. One of them is a no-no. The second has two
sisters – they were lovely and it is a possibility. The third place
is a family setting and is a yes. I had dinner with them last
Thursday and enjoyed their company and their kindness.

Now I will have to get used to a new area. I will need help to
learn the bus routes and the shops. I still want to be involved
with the consultative group in London and the other meetings I do.
Next Wednesday I am going to the National Forum for People with
Learning Difficulties.

Before I can move into my new home, they have to get a new bed
because the one they have is too near the ground. I cannot get in
and out of it. I will live there for six weeks and then we will
have a meeting to see how things are going. Nobody will replace my
recent carer – I trust her and she is fair and kind. She is like a
mum to me and has said I can visit her whenever I want. I don’t
want to move but have no choice – wish me luck!

Mabel Cooper is a service user with a learning

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