Privacy Please

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Yesterday, Becky and I decided we needed a vacation. No, we’re not going away, or planning day trips, we’re taking a vacation from staff. This is not the staff we hire, it’s the staff that are sent from an agency to complete personal care.

For four months, the attendants have asked Becky when the bathroom renovation was going to be finished. Four months! About two months ago, the bath bench lost a foot, so for two months the staff have told Becky she needs a new bath bench. Obviously she isn’t smart enough to figure it out, or they have just forgotten about the bathroom renovation.

One person told Becky her room was too small (I’ll get right on that) while another told her she should clean her wheelchair every week. Really, maybe we should tell you to clean your car or your shoes every week.

The staff either come in through my bedroom, or if they use the front door, they use my bedroom as a cloak room. No problem, I didn’t need any privacy.

We have people in six days a week. Six days when Becky has to manage staff, and I have to find somewhere else to go (otherwise they pepper me with questions). We can’t do anything spontaneously; we have to call and change staff hours, and then the person on the other end of the phone wants to know why.

We decided yesterday that we both needed a break. We need a bit of freedom; to come and go as we pleased, to not have to explain what we’re doing all the time, to sleep in, and to have some privacy.

I’d like to hang a Privacy sign on my life, but I can’t. Since the accident, we have had our lives filed in triplicate with doctors, lawyers, agencies, schools, and whoever else was passing by at the time. I’ve sort of managed to cope with that, but the home invasion thing still gets on my nerves. Why do people think they have the right to tell you what to do, or to ask what you’re doing, just because they’re in your home? In England, it’s considered REALLY rude to make a negative comment about someone’s home while you are actually in it.

It would be nice if the staff were more polite, less critical, and slightly less negative, but of course, we cannot change other people. Instead, we can stop them coming in for a while. We are looking forward to our vacation, and I am already looking forward to a Sunday morning in my pajamas.

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About chebandbecky

I was born in Birmingham, England and emigrated to Canada in 1988. Becky is my daughter who was injured in a car accident. We are working towards her independence.
This entry was posted in Disability, Family, Home, Life, parenting, renovation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Privacy Please

  1. harmony77uk says:

    I seem to deal with this on a daily basis and I am from England… Do not think that simple fact will stop them!
    For me, it is not so much that they are rude about the house while they are in it, that simple privacy issues. you cannot do something without having to justify it to several different people, so spontaneity is out of the question. Being told what to do, when it is obvious, is also something that I get all the time. “you should use an umbrella, it is raining, it will stop you from getting wet” or “I can’t clean the floor while you are on it, you need to go in another room”
    I wish that I could take a break as well, but my family do not live close to me, and the ones that do, work.

    • chebandbecky says:

      Thanks for sharing. We tried to deal with it last year through the agency and got nowhere. Becky just gets to a point where she can’t face it. Im happy to fill in because it affects my life too. I know we’re the lucky ones that can take a break, and I’m thankful for it. 🙂

  2. Spashionista says:

    The problem is compassion and courtesy are not given any importance when these people are hired. Their comments are debasing and make one feel like less than a person. I’m fortunate to be independent enough that I have very limited dealing with these kinds of people. They should be called “hinderers” because they often do more harm than good. I’m glad you and Becky can take a break from these losers.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

  3. I’m almost completely independent now but I was in much worse shape about four years ago. My friends were great and helped out a lot. What I hated about professional “helpers” was when they would tell me what kind of attitude I should have about my physical pain and limitations. Apparently it’s just not acceptable to be down about losing mobility and living in constant pain. I actually had an occupational therapist tell me she knew how I felt because once she’d hurt herself “and couldn’t jog for, like, a week!” She felt that gave her the authority to tell me to “think positive!”

    • chebandbecky says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s a vulnerable time and it sure would help if ‘helpers’ understood that; if they understood that you need to be in charge of your own life. It’s kind of important…

      So glad to hear of your improvements.

      Cheryl

  4. SarahJese says:

    I was able to privately hire help for my father and just the intrusion into our daily lives was awful. It does not matter how well-meaning they are just the fact of having someone else in the home was difficult – cannot even imagine if they were acting inappropriately.

    • chebandbecky says:

      It’s a double-edged sword; you (family) either have to do all the work yourself, and be exhausted, or hire people and lose your privacy. In this, and many cases, the person needs, or wants, their independence, so we have to deal with the revolving door of staff. Most outsiders do not understand the difficulties associated with that choice. Obviously you do.

      Hope all is well with you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. kiwiskan says:

    An interesting comment. I’ve noticed that anyone who is in some way dependent, including the elderly, seems to be treated in this inexcusable manner

    • chebandbecky says:

      Yes, unfortunately. I’m sure there’s some strange psychology going on when a person is vulnerable. It’s a delicate balance between helping and smothering, I think. We’re lucky and can step outside the system for periods of time. Looking forward to a break. 🙂

  6. Eveline Kellman says:

    Sorry to hear of your problems. We English enjoy our privacy and do not appreciate comments about our families and homes. After all these years I still not have become used to this habit. I just hope you enjoyed your holiday from the staff

    • chebandbecky says:

      It was a nice break, thanks. We can’t always manage without staff, but it was nice to step outside of the ‘box’ for a while. “A change is as good as a rest”, my Mom used to say.

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