There has been much discussion within the Access Care community today following yesterday’s vote and the results declared this morning. Walking into the office this morning was akin to how I imagine stepping on an emotional rollercoaster would be; I tentatively boarded a carriage sat next to some office staff who were displaying sadness, anxiety and utter dismay spiced with a touch of irony as they explained their feelings with a good old fashioned ‘British’ stiff upper lip; whilst a minority were quietly pleased that the vote had gone their way. The carriage tipped, turned and twisted through the emotional day without showing signs of stopping.
We spoke to some of our private carers who live abroad and fly in to provide excellent levels of care to their clients, who are quite literally scared for their jobs, one even asked if she was allowed back to see her client again in four weeks – presumably thinking Britain will instantly build a defence and wind up the drawbridge. We spoke to our elderly clients as we do most days and one expressed pure joy that he had his country back. Listening to all though, it struck me how sad this is, and how despite half the country celebrating, half are sad, worried and in some cases genuinely scared for their livelihoods and when I know these people that are so very worried personally I too feel their pain. How is it some people can feel such happiness when they know others are feeling such sadness from the very same event?
The United Kingdom Homecare Association Policy Director Colin Angel spoke words that carry the emotions that we as an agency would like to express too that "no matter how people voted in the referendum, it is crucial that we work together to shape the future of a nation which moves forward in a positive and constructive way. For those of us engaged in social care, the wellbeing of older and disabled people will be paramount, along with an economy which enables independent and voluntary sector businesses to flourish. The ability of the social care sector to recruit and retain an effective workforce is of particular concern. The contribution of every care worker matters.”
Access Care is a founder member of the Live-in Care Hub, an alliance of live-in care agencies that have come together to promote the concept of people being able to stay in their homes with a private carer living with them as opposed to feeling they have to move in to a care home. I have spoken to many of the members over the past few days and all are deeply concerned, primarily for the continuity of care that we all strive so very hard to achieve on behalf of our clients and secondly and being completely honest for the future of our businesses and for all homecare businesses as without their presence in the UK all of us are looking at a very bleak old age.
I finally stepped off the rollercoaster this evening when I returned home and had to sit and steady myself for a while. In quiet contemplation (whilst doing laundry, puffing cushions, foraging for food for the family and generally being a mum and housewife) it occurred to me that life in my house, without the news blaring, Facebook notifications or tweets interrupting the silence, nothing had changed. So I think as I finish the day a little drained, that none of us ever know what tomorrow brings or the future holds. Worrying about the when and where is, although necessary for decision makers, perhaps unnecessary for those of us that go about our days in a more ‘typical’ fashion – at least for now, this evening anyway, maybe even this week, month or year – so let us be mindful of where we are today, live and care for others in the present and hopefully for us all tomorrow really will take care of itself.