- What's it like? What is attendant care really like? People in your home . . .
- I wasn't expecting this It's a shock, the accident, all these people coming into our house
- Expectations- - - reality Constantly adjusting, changing and managing my expectations
- My house needs modification We needed a ramp, bathroom modifications . . .
- My home - - - a workplace The challenges of my home being a workplace
- My worker - - - a professional Relating with professional workers
- We are all working to achieve goals Working as a team to achieve goals
- We are still grieving I am still grieving and so are my family
- My worker needs training Typical training includes . . .
- Everyone is affected Everyone, family and friends are all affected.
- My cultural background is . . . There are cultural differences & workers need to be culturally competent
- I live in a rural area There are some unique benefits and challenges in rural areas
- My family is. . . My family is messy and complicated and that impacts on attendant care
- My service provider is. . . My service provider isn't working out
- My case manager. . . My case manager gets all the pieces to work together
I wasn't expecting this . . .
The accident is a shock.
Beginning attendant care at home is also a shock. All these people are coming in and out of your house.
If it is a family situation everyone’s space and privacy is being invaded.
You are not sure of what you should do and what the workers should do.
If you are a parent and your child has an injury it is a challenge to stand back and let go and let the workers do their work without doing it for them. It’s a challenge not to clean the house before they arrive.
The shock is normal.
Understanding about attendant care helps.
When attendant care is working well:
- You have found a service provider you feel can meet your needs.
- The workers are appropriate.
- You understand your role and the workers’ role.
- You let the workers get on with the work.
- You are able to talk with the workers about how they do their work so you can still feel at home in your home and they can get on with the work in their workplace.
In the ICU (2 mins)
So, Alana was only in ICU for a couple of days. And I just decided that was it. There is no way, I looked around. So, she was going to get better. She was going to walk out of this hospital. I still didn’t understand at that point what had happened to her. Or maybe I did but I didn’t let it to sink in. It was about the 4th day and her surgeon came out and said ‘I really need to talk to you’. . . . ‘You do realise, that she’s still not out of the woods. And she’s not just going to wake up’. It’s not like the movies. Brain injury is not like the movies. You don’t just automatically one day everything is OK, you sit up and go, you know ‘Can I have McDonald’s?’ It’s not like that at all. And that’s the bit that was the hardest to get my head around I think. Because we had seen pictures and staff where you just could open their eyes and ‘What day is it?’ It’s not like that at all.
Coming home (5 mins)
I think that what I had in my head that once I got Alana home and whole family is under the same roof again everything would just get back to normal. But it didn’t. And that’s OK because now we’ve got a new kind of different good.. .
So, we came home, everything doesn’t run to plan all the time. Things happen, people drop in, kids coming up, whatever.
So, having a carer in the house really bothered me. They are in my territory. I was losing control over Alana because she was mine three months before that. So, I had a lot of issues with letting carer into the house. I knew I needed it to happen and I was grateful for it because I needed to get back to my life as well. . .
You are having a stranger in your house every day. You don’t know how to react to that person, you have no training to how you are to relate with that person. Because we are all different, we all react differently . . .
Starting with care (3 mins)
I think, initially for me… What was so hard for me… It wasn’t the carers themselves, because they’ve all been good and nice. I had to learn to step back and let them do what they had to do without butting in and trying to help them. And I still get that now. You know, they go to do something and I’ve already done it. But I did learn to step back and relax more. I wasn’t relaxed, I felt that once they come in the morning I had to be up, and had to make sure Emma's cloths were all there, what she was going to put on for the day. And as time’s gone on I don’t do that anymore. I let the carers do all that.