- People's stories Interviews with people getting attendant care, family members, workers . . .
- Alana Alana had a serious car accident aged 14. She has a brain injury.
- Rob Rob had a stroke. He was in a nursing home and now lives at home.
- David David had a car accident when 20. He has a brain injury. He has returned to work and to driving.
- Karel Karel had a bicycle accident. He has a fractured spine. He lives with his wife. They are in their 80s.
- Emma Emma was hit by a car. She has a brain injury and needs 24 hour care.
- Christakis Christakis' head went back in a car accident and he broke his neck. He lives with his wife.
- Attendant Care Provider Brain Injury Service Coordination Managers and Community Support Workers.
- Attendant Care Provider Spinal Injury Service Supervisors and Attendant Care Workers.
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Christakis, his wife and worker
Two years ago in a club car park Christakis had a freak accident. He lost control of his car and sustained a serious injury. He had put the car into reverse hit the gutter at the back. His head went backwards. He broke his neck. After months in hospital he went home. He lives with his wife.
- Olga, Christakis’ wife
- Anastasia, Christakis personal care worker
When I came home at the beginning I was depressed but after I get good carers, they look after me, they make life easier for me.
Anastasia and some of my other carers. . .
And then they make it for me much better because they look after me OK.
My wife is happy to see them here. And after 18 months I have improved a little bit, but not as much as I would like.
Christakis's Story (8 mins)
Full text of the video Christakis's Story
ON SCREEN: Christakis’s Story. Two years ago in a club carpark Christakis had a freak accident. He lost control of his car and sustained a serious injury.
CHRISTAKIS: It was my greatest mistake in my life. I’ve been driving for 50 years all over the world and then I had the accident in a parking lot. I saw somebody coming very fast and then I thought he was going to hit me on the driver’s side. And then I quickly put the reverse and pushed a lot of gas in my panic to reverse. And then I hit the gutter at the back. And then my head went backwards, broke my neck of the impact and I couldn’t talk.
ANASTASIA: Relax it.
ON SCREEN: After months in hospital, with the help of carers he was able to come home.
CHRISTAKIS: 5 seconds.
ON SCREEN: Anastasia is one of his care workers. She also has a Greek background.
ANASTASIA: Are you alright?
CHRISTAKIS: Yeah, I’m alright.
ON SCREEN: He & his wife found it difficult adjusting to his disability & to the care workers
ANASTASIA: Ok. One, two, three, four, five, six…
ON SCREEN: OLGA Christakis’s wife
OLGA: Yes, it’s a little bit difficult. Before I haven’t got anyone and now I stay at home. You know, I’m not going anywhere now. Sometimes I feel alright but sometimes…
CHRISTAKIS: She feels uncomfortable.
What do you feel uncomfortable with?
OLGA: Not uncomfortable. I’m thinking about my husband - my life has changed. This time and he thought I going somewhere and then I stay home and somebody comes. You know, it’s different thing, you know.
So, it may have a big impact on your life.
CHRISTAKIS: Yes, impact. ???
So, how has your life changed?
OLGA: It changed a lot. Because all the time I stay at home, I don’t go anywhere. And when I go to the shop I run because there is no time. I’m coming to help my husband. If sometimes happens to him, the home carer is gone. I’m not leaving him here by himself.
And do you get on with the staff that come?
CHRISTAKIS:Explains quesiton in Greek to Olga
OLGA: Yes. Yeah.
CHRISTAKIS:Now we are very good. At the beginning, the first 6 weeks she was shocked. They spill their urine on the floor, one lady they used to send time from agencies. The first 6 weeks it was very bad. After we regulate them, we have the same people.
CHRISTAKIS: Yes, it’s good. It’s a bit painful but it’s good.
CHRISTAKIS: Anastasia is one of my best carers. She does personal hygiene and she helps me with exercises. The physiotherapist showed her a few exercises to do. And then she takes us for shopping whenever we need. My wife shopping.
ANASTASIA: And sometimes showers.
ON SCHREEN: ANASTASIA Attendant Care Worker
CHRISTAKIS:Yes, sometimes she showers me too. Sometimes she comes in the mornings too when people are away. And then on Sundays when my permanent carer was on the weekend, he was on a holiday, Anastasia was rostered to take us on Sundays to the Club. And she joined as well.
ANASTASIA: I like it.
ON SCREEN: Anastasia likes this work but there are challenges & difficulties
ANASTASIA: That’s it.
CHRISTAKIS: Yeah, alright.
ANASTASIA: I work in broken shift - I work in some mornings, some night shifts I’ve got to prepare people to bed and in the mornings…
CHRISTAKIS:She works flexible hours.
ANASTASIA: Yes, I’ve got 8 hours a day, but I work maybe 5 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. I mean, I’m ok. I’m very happy I work this. I’m not going to stop. There are heavy people, sometimes heavy people at homes. Ok. But the heavy things different, the culture, even for the Greek people. You find different people, different mind, different everything. There are people who want everything, not only the care. And you tell them, explain to them “I’m here only for care, I’m not house-keeper, I’m not cleaning company”. But the people expect from you everything.
CHRISTAKIS: Some are demanding.
ANASTASIA: Yeah, expect from you everything and complain. Ok, but how to explain to them? You’ll never… You explain it but that never go in. That’s the difficulty at homes. But so far they are alright. I’m three years now in home care. I’m ok.
Do you find people want to just become too friendly with you sometimes?
ANASTASIA: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes too friendly. And I try to be not afraid to say “That’s work. Ok? I’m friend but just work.” I try this. Yeah, you find people like this.
ON SCREEN: For Anastasia a key to doing this work well is good communication
ANASTASIA: He understands me, we talk to each other. And he tells me everything because I ask. I know for many carer what I have to do but I ask him to have a good communication. “What do you like, Chris?” “What do you want, Chris?” He says “Anastasia, put me in the toilet”, “Anastasia, give me this”, “Anastasia, help me to move my hair”…
CHRISTAKIS: Yes, she’s one of my best carers.
ANASTASIA: Yeah. I say “Ok, Chris, let’s go, let’s go in the shower. What do you want?” “Let’s go to walk”-“Ok”. All in mind is a good communication for the client and for the family.
ON SCREEN: Though Christakis hasn’t recovered as much as he’d like… The care workers have greatly improved his quality of life
CHRISTAKIS: When I came at the beginning I was depressed but after I get good carers, they look after me, they make life easier for me. Anastasia and some of my other carers. And then they make it for me much better because they look after me Ok, they give me good shower, they.... My wife is happy to see them here. And then after this a long way for me, I know, but after 18 months I improved a little bit, but not as much as I would like.
ON SCREEN: One thing that has really improved is his walking
When you first came could he walk? And he can walk more now or can he use his hands?
ANASTASIA: Yeah, he walked when I came in. Not much but he walked. Now it’s more walk. And I tell him “Put you body straight, up tall”
CHRISTAKIS: They used to put me in a safety belt and hold me from the bed, because I was…
ANASTASIA: Pedica bed we use.
CHRISTAKIS:Now I can walk by myself.
ANASTASIA: Now he’s alright. Yeah.
ON SCREEN: For Anastasia, seeing this sort of improvement is very satisfying
ANASTASIA: For the people, you know, to help them and I like to see the people better. I like to see the people. I know the care and I give it to them. I like to target the care and I see better.
ANASTASIA: Ok. Thank you. Alright. What cake is it?
OLGA: Cocoa cake.
CHRISTAKIS: From café.
ANASTASIA: Beautiful. Always you may get something.
OLGA: Yeah. I like it.
ANASTASIA: Eat something.
ON SCREEN: Thanks to Christakis & Olga for taking part in this video. Interviewer Paul Bullen. Camera & Editing Peter Kirkwood. Produced by Paul Bullen & Peter Kirkwood. www.living-with-attendant-care.info.