An elderly person seated while holding a stress ball. A carer holds his arm.

All Quiet On The Acting Front

I must admit, it’s quiet on the acting front.

That’s not to say jobs haven’t been tendered for. It’s just a lull.

Yet, it never truly is quiet on the acting front – we, non-actors included, pretend to be different personas everyday for whatever reason.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, life is one big stage and we are forever acting upon it.

Behind The Scenes

There is no telling what goes on behind the scenes, away from the social media sheen, from the glare of public persona.

I for one am not accustomed to inviting the public eye to my private space, but events of late call for a more proactive approach.

In between acting gigs I am a live-in carer for my 88 year old mother who is a dementia sufferer. She has been paraplegic and housebound since 2013.

She has a care service looking after her personal needs, while I deal with everything else such as shopping, paperwork, property maintenance, and helping to feed her as she’s been unable to do so since May 2022.

Bad Eggs

The care service has been great, for the most part. There is one care team which is exceptional, and my mother loves them.

Of course, there are bad eggs in any batch. One in particular has been causing a lot of stress for refusing to do certain tasks for initially legitimate reasons.

Those reasons are no longer valid thanks to District Nurses, from whom the care service takes lead, citing as much after repeated inspections.

But the carer continues to come up with new reasons not to fulfil her duty of care for my mother. As a result, my mother’s emotional, mental, and physical health has waivered, to put it lightly.

Yesterday, I overheard a conversation between the carer in question and my mother. Without revealing details, I found the carer to be unprofessional and disrespectful towards my mother.

It was the last straw.

Duty of Care

Actually, the last straw should have been 2 weeks ago when she and another abandoned their duty of care because they could not handle a real conversation with me about my mother. I will never forget that, nor forgive.

Instead, I received a call from their ‘co-ordinator’ to de-escalate the situation – I don’t appreciate being misrepresented.

Since then, I have noticed the rise of a stigma being attached to my mother for being herself – a dementia sufferer. I’ve notice this through the words and actions of other carers, details of which I cannot reveal here.

Dementia sufferers comprehend reality differently to everyone else. It can take far more patience to explain the simplest thing.

It has started to affect me personally, and also on a professional level as I find myself allocating more time to document all care issues in multiple emails to management since January 2023.

Formal Complaint

I composed and sent yet another email this morning – a formal complaint against the carer in question.

We shall see what becomes of it.

Worse case scenario is that the care service is withdrawn, which would be devastating. If in place of my mother, it had been my father, such a possibility would not be an issue. But for obvious reasons, I would not be able to attend to my mother’s personal care.

A Call For Help

I share the above because I am at a loss. It is a call for help.

Although the manager has been helpful in addressing issues in the past, the carer in question continues to reign freely. I’ve been reluctant to rock the boat at my mother’s request – she relies on God/Karma to settle all things.

But I’m a realist and cannot stand aside and watch my mother – who was a child refugee during the partition of India, who witnessed her country being torn apart by foreigners, who came to the UK to work only to be subjected to decades of racism – spend her penultimate years being disrespected by the ignorant.