The People that Matter - a reflection on those that access and provide CAH services

I remember many years ago a very popular American crime thriller TV series called ‘24’ with Kiefer Sutherland comprising of 24 one-hour episodes covering 24 hours of his life.

That’s what it is like for every individual who lives at home, who are being supported by their loved ones or those commissioned to provide care and support services. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!!

Today we are celebrating the work being undertaken by the unsung heroes who work in social care and the pressures they face on a day to day basis in providing “care from the heart”. This is NOT a job that anyone can do and needs that “special” person to be able to be sensitive to the needs of the individuals and families that they look after.

As we approach winter again and look forward to a Christmas of joy and wellbeing, with many of us (me included) over indulging in the good things of life, just stop for a moment and think of those who will have to work on Christmas day, leave their loved ones to care for those in need. To face the wrath again of the cousin of the “beast from the east”, to walk through rain and snow to provide much needed help and comfort to these who need it.

The media focus then was on the NHS and the angels working there. I have no issues with that being a nurse myself with my wife working in the NHS.  In Scotland we have over 200,000 individuals who work in social care services in Care at Home, Housing Support and Care Homes, under difficult circumstances, and those are the unsung heroes who should be recognised for what they do, many of whom are an older female workforce.

They care and support those every day who need their love and compassion, touching physically with body and mind to enable you and me (in the future) to remain at home, in our familiar surroundings.

I watched the TV programme last night called “Ambulance” and saw staff working alongside not just trauma victims, but those in need at home, who are suffering physically and mentally to “keep it together”.  It was at times heart breaking!  That is what our social care staff do day in day out, and under very difficult circumstances. It must be so hard for them to leave their clients knowing that perhaps they may not see another human being for another 4 hours, till they return.

So, I started with the TV programme ‘24’, and so it goes on and on. Care support and compassion are something not just for our carers to do, but something that society must embrace, including the system we live in where politicians and civil servants decide how things should be with regards to care.

The Integration Bill is a wonderful idea, shifting the emphasis from acute to the community, but is it happening?  Yes and no! Once this thorny issue is fully grasped by the powers that be, and dealt with properly, those being cared for can indeed experience care available at any point in the 24 hours that they require it, how they want it - as it should be!

Swaran Rakhra

Membership Support Manager, Scottish Care

#homecareday18