Over the last few weeks I have had reason to reflect on what it is like to be dependent on others for care and support and what an eye opener it has been. I believe I have always shown empathy to my clients in need of support but there is nothing like losing your own independence (albeit for a short period in my case) to bring home the reality of what this means to the individual, particularly when long term care is required.
Don’t get me wrong, my family have been amazing in their endeavours to look after me and I suspect I haven’t been the easiest of patients to look after. However I now realise how easy it is for those providing care and support to “take over” with the very best of intentions to do as much as possible to help. On more than one occasion I have found myself saying “I have had a hip replacement not a brain injury” in order to re assert my right to make decisions about the support I receive.
A timely reminder that it is frustrating enough being dependent on others for practical tasks without adding to it by inadvertently assuming the role of decision maker too !