The OT, Naheed Khan, came back to see me and told me she wanted to see me get in and out of the bath. I told her that I didn't think I feel very safe but for her, that is not the question. For her, even when I took some pain to tell her that going in fully clothed is not the same as being wet in a slippery tub - she says she thinks I can fully independent and she doesn't think I should have any problems. The question of the lack of dignity aside, she gave me to feel that I was being unreasonable, and although without saying it outright, implied that I am lying when I have indicated that it wasn't easy to manage on my own.
She also says that the ability to buy food online and reheating food in a microwave also indicates self sufficiency and therefore, no support is required. The implication here is that one can survive with that.
In these days when most people have daily showers and emphasis is on well prepared and balanced meals, I think that not being able to control personal hygiene and feeding oneself should be considered critical. It made me realize that certain things a non disabled person would take for granted is not in the equation for people who are not able physically or financially independent. I see in her the embodiment of institutional bullying at its worst. One standard for the haves and another for the have nots. Today I see that they are considering putting a higher tax on so called fat foods. Getting pre packaged food is considered unhealthy and lazy but not if you are disabled, then it is the solution for you. I am not a luddite but technology is meant to help us not to force us into making convenience into necessity. This makes me more of an advocate on the information/techology divide issue.
I can understand social services might be scrapped for cash but does that mean that the less able should be bullied, made to feel burdensome and unreasonable and cowed into submission? When I declined to sign then and there the form where she concluded that I had completed the Promoting Independence package, she pulled rank on me, she told me that she had been an OT for __ number of years and that she knew what she was doing, implying that I was being recalcitrant and doubting her competence, i responded by saying that I am nearly 50, I ought to know what I can or cannot do and I am in full control of my faculties even if disabled physically.
I think the whole Promoting Independence package was a joke - the support workers who came - was not aware that they were supposed to be doing whatever was indicated in the formula and sometimes they merrily ticked the boxes given without actually knowing what they meant. I do not blame them, i do not think they were trained for that. they were trained to be carers and they are not paid that well. I had quite a few in succession and I actually taught some of them how to cook certain things, one had no idea how to cook noodles.The idea that one could trust a total stranger who is not trained into ones personal care of the most intimate kind is faulty in service design if not in effective practice. I think it is just an exercise to be able to escape from having to provide support.
It is very shoddy. This is a waste of resources and in the end, neither the service user nor the community, society benefits from it.
On the one hand, we can say well, at least here in the UK, we make some semblance of caring for disabled people when in the rest of the world, they would be left to the mercies of the family or thrown on the rubbish heap. But is this in keeping with social care in a western society? If you do spend money on social care, it would seem that a government should make sure that it is working effectively and not leave opportunities for mistreatment by the administration of these social services. This is my encounter anyhow, I would be interested in hearing other stories.