A client is returning home after months in hospital. I call the care agency to check what time their care worker will arrive. I drive to her flat to greet her when she gets out of the ambulance. On the way, I stop off to buy milk and bread. She is delighted to be at home and neighbours pop in to welcome her back while I make her a cup of tea. I test her pendant alarm, and check that the key safe works.
This takes up most of my morning. Later I join a colleague to carry out a needs assessment for an elderly man and his wife. They speak little English and their daughter acts as an interpreter. I agree to submit some paperwork to panel for funding.
I spend the morning at a carers’ group talking about capacity. It’s informal and the conversation flows over tea and biscuits. It’s a humbling experience because we hear from one man who lovingly describes how he met his wife 50 years ago and how she worked as a nurse. Now she needs care for almost everything and can’t be left by herself.
Back at the office, I finish a document to submit to the funding panel and have a quick catch-up with my manager about an ongoing safeguarding case before leaving for the day.
I meet the wife of a man with advanced dementia. She is his carer, is obviously struggling and is frequently on the verge of tears during our conversation. There is no respite or help for her at home but she feels duty bound to carry on until she can no longer do so. The situation already sounds desperate; she has no time to herself and her husband tries to escape from the house virtually all the time. I ask her how she will know when she’s reached the end of her tether and she admits she’s not sure. We discuss a few options and I suggest that I visit again next week to complete a carer’s assessment.
I receive a call from the anxious daughter of a client who is in hospital. She is worried ward staff don’t like him and that he’s not receiving the care he needs. I offer to contact the ward to discuss this with the ward manager. She is relieved, but keen not to be perceived as complaining.
The day starts with a long conversation with the daughter of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease. She is worried: she says her mother has deteriorated to the point of needing permanent residential care. Her mother lives on her own, in supported accommodation, but has fused the lights for the second time in as many weeks. I agree to visit next week.
I attend the weekly allocation meeting and get a new case. I read through the notes, speak to the GP who has made the referral, and make contact with the client’s son to arrange a visit for the next week. The rest of the day is spent writing up notes.
I have supervision with one of the senior social workers. We discuss all of my cases and spend a lot of time talking about a case with difficult family dynamics. It feels useful and I leave feeling positive.
I pop in to see the client who returned home from hospital on Monday and she is doing well. I return to the office to finish catching up on my notes and update my electronic calendar before heading home for the weekend.