I have a lovely story about how I met one of my first service users.
It was just after the “beast from the east” and Brian who was the manager called me to ask if I could go up and visit a couple up in Slamanan Road. It wasn’t their day for support and their usual support worker was off. The wife, who was blind, said that her husband, who was the one with dementia , was going to take the bus into town as he had run out of porridge. The paths and roads were still quite slippy and she was worried that he might fall.
Brian wanted me to go up and take the gentleman into town to get the porridge. I had never met them before and Brian gave me a quick run down about them.
I introduced myself and we hit it of straight away. They knew my mum from church and this did help. The visit went really well . The wife then phoned the office and asked that if their usual service worker was off if they could have me.
I carried on supporting them for the next 3 years until sadly the gentleman died. His wife was obviously devastated and also worried that she would loose our support. The office agreed that we would have a period of time to still support her until another care company could help her with her own needs.
I am still in contact with the wife. She is 96 and still lives in her own home.
One of my present service users has been under our care for 3 years. She lives alone , is 94 and has no close family nearby. She has always been very independent and a lot of time and patience has gone into her agreeing to our help . We have made great gains and she looks forward to our visits.
She is a member of the local Jehovah congregation in her town. She is thought of very highly by the congregation and up until lock down attended the Kingdom Hall all the time and went door to door to speak to people.
She has found it very hard to adjust to all the changes especially not going out “ on the work” as she calls it. She has been involved in Zoom meetings to meet up with the congregation. This has been made possible by the council providing us with tablets and some service users with I pads.
Recently she has starting thinking that I am one of the congregation that comes to visit her. It gives her great comfort and I haven’t corrected her. She will talk a lot about the church and what “we” and what “we” cant do . I let her talk about it as her face lights up and she is contented.
Any members of staff who have met her, instantly like her and she treats everyone with kindness and makes them feel welcome.
Claire Gardiner | Early Onset Support Worker