In the shoes of… Jude Irwin | Carer whose Mum is living with dementia

Mum wrote a popular post recently in this series. Indeed all of Mum’s  guest posts are popular – blogging 90 year olds are apparently unusual.

This particular post was about care funding. It was interesting that Mum’s opening words were “I don’t think I ever thought about needing long-term care.” At 90, this might be considered unusual, particularly with a daughter who works in the care sector, but I don’t necessarily think so.

In my experience, it is the children and (HUGE, sexist generalisation, here) most frequently the daughters, who do indeed think a lot about planning for care. Is it realistic to “bump along” (this was my Dad’s phrase)? Should we be making plans now? How will we all cope in the future? Where do we find good local information? Avoiding a crisis is good but putting our heads in the sand can be more attractive.

In this context, I have followed with interest the progress of  Find Me Good Care, a website launched recently by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). I am delighted to be able to help raise awareness of this service. Indeed, I am hoping for further guest posts from different perspectives looking at how this service works and whether people are finding it useful.

So let’s start with Jude whose Mum is  living with dementia. As is so often the case in these matters, Jude wishes she had known about FMGC earlier…

Great dementia care is out there if you look!

JudeYesterday my mum’s brilliant carer Marie took her to the GP because she seemed a little under the weather. Marie reported that mum told the GP there was nothing wrong with her, but that she always has trouble with her periods – much to the young GP’s confusion. Mum’s 85 and has dementia. She flits back and forth across the stages of her life, but she’s still as much in charge of things as she can be, and that’s all down to getting the right care for her. She and Marie left the surgery in a fit of giggles and couldn’t wait to share the incident with me.

Flash back a year and mum was having a rotten time, and so was I. We were using the more basic care agency favoured by our social services department, which meant three flying visits by different carers every day. Mum was depressed, confused and felt alone and unloved. I was visiting daily and trying to fit her needs in around my full-time work. Now, by trial and error, we’ve found the perfect agency, which guarantees one main carer all the time. Marie comes in five days a week, with backup at weekends from Amy. Between them, they know mum really well, so it’s they who know when she needs a doctor’s visit, and they who make her laugh and treat her like a mate or a surrogate mum, rather than just another job to be done.

Just wish we’d known about the agency, Diagonal Alternatives earlier, and I really wish Find Me Good Care had been around to help us get this sorted sooner.

By Jude Irwin

About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
This entry was posted in Blogs, community engagement, dementia, Guest blog, health, in my shoes, mental health, personalisation, safeguarding, social care, TLAP - Making It Real and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to In the shoes of… Jude Irwin | Carer whose Mum is living with dementia

  1. Maureen Grove says:

    Such a lovely story! And for people who ‘have been there’, also so real. Hope this helps to give hope to those people who still have the journey to make. Good dementia care v.important – and it can be fun!!


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