My involvement in care started when I retired and acted as a volunteer driver for the Ambulance Service, transporting people from country districts to attend hospital appointments or day centres. I found many people were confused and lived alone and it was difficult to understand how they coped with every day living. I learned more about the problems from those who had carers, and then from social workers.
This resulted in taking First Aid and Welfare courses with the Red Cross and my involvement has developed over the years. Other community work included working with Charities, Social Services, local Health service, other caring organisations and fund raising. I found the people with the greatest need appeared to be dementia sufferers. This progressed into setting up respite day care centres organised and run by volunteers. This work provided a great deal of knowledge and skill as well as friendship, contacts and interest.
I have been my wife’s full time carer for nearly two years. This has involved new learning; how to introduce changes in the home to prevent accidents, organise medication, apply for benefits and provide stimulating activities through the day, organising, cooking and shopping.
I have visited many Residential and Nursing homes over the years and those providing quality care are not easily found. In my opinion support with home care which is the preferred option is practically non existent, but 84% of people, over eighty five live in their own homes. I continue to provide support and campaign to improve the care of the elderly over the internet. This provides a facility to communicate to the wider community and with people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to share opinions. I feel this could be expanded with the help of iCan.