Diary: The word from the front line

    Monday: I accompany a colleague to the house of an older woman. She has a small dog, which carers have been complaining about, as it can be vicious.

    We enter the flat gingerly. I for one am rather nervous of dogs, especially the little ones. Luckily my colleague is braver than me and she manages to shut the dog in the kitchen while we speak to its owner.

    The flat is smelly and cold and the fridge freezer has broken, leaving a trail of defrosting food and melted ice across the floor. We clear it up, get some money from the service user, and dash off to try and get a replacement fridge freezer delivered today.

    On the way we call the carer to see if she can fit in a shopping trip to restock the fridge which, luckily, she can.

    Tuesday: I attend a case conference of an older man living alone. His flat had previously been very cluttered but over recent months his nephew and home care have managed to slowly sort things out.

    The flat is much clearer now, but the service user is still neglecting his own personal care. He has been playing relatives and carers and social service off against each other, hence the need for a meeting where everyone can attend.

    A new carer has recently been appointed luckily he seems extremely committed and is eager to help. We agree a plan of action and I leave with a long list of things to do (and somehow, the minutes to type up).

    Wednesday A long-standing member of the team retires today. It is a day filled with tears of joy (from her) and sadness (from us). She is one of the kindest people I have ever worked with, and I miss her already.

    After a pub lunch and the present opening ceremony, she heads off home and we head off back to the office to get on with work. I attend a review of a woman in a local residential home. She is very confused but has been living very happily at the home for the past five years.

    I speak to the manager and look at the care plan. It is clear, up to date and relevant – what a delight! The activities on offer are simple but effective lots of one-to-one interaction with staff and a range of activities aside from the ubiquitous bingo.

    Thursday: I come into work to find that the kitchen cupboard has collapsed under the weight of million free mugs from various locum agencies!

    I clear them out and mention it to my manager fortuitously the centre’s administration manager is due to visit today so it might be a good time to ask for a (much needed) new kitchen cupboard.

    I type up a review and update the database. I call the hospital to check on a service user who was admitted two weeks ago due to confusion. I feel she needs residential care but the daughter is insistent her mother can be supported at home.

    I need to speak to the daughter and the team at the hospital to find a way forward.

    Friday: A day off. The idea of a day of possibilities of my own choosing fills me with glee. Yeeharr!

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