Wiser words – care

First of all I hope you all voted, filled out your polls apart survey (see blog below) and are as excited as I am for the results. I am standing as a local councillor for the lib dems as a ‘paper’ candidate. This means chances of getting in are small. However with Cleggs popularity I could still manage it against my actual plans, and it did mean I got to vote for myself which was hilarious, there was a guy in front debating to vote for me too.

So onto the main blog which I have been meaning to write for a while. Since my move to London I was assessed for my care needs. that is hoisting between bed, chair, shower etc, turning at night for comfort, cooking, cleaning, showering, toiletting and so forth. basically i need 24 hour care. this is paid now by direct payments – DP (before, the local authority paid agencies and any bugger came in each day to care for you). I use the DP’s to recruit, employ and retain as best I can my own PA’s. This has meant job adverts, interviews, role profiles, references, Criminal checks, planning rota’s, paying the tax and NI on their pay and generally managing the whole situation. It can be tiring but essentially I need the care to go to work, socialise, be clean and exist – however it cant always be simple and it does need a lot of attention and energy. I am also looking into individual budgets which I will blog on once I have been through this assessment.

The reason for writing this was recently a couple of my PA’s have been looking at what they want moving forward. see, the pay is static and I cannot offer pay rises which is terrible. any other job rewards loyalty and improved skills, not here. I have always known my PA’s will move on and am prepared but I feel on the whole they enjoy the role but, like we all do, need a boost in some way – recognition, progression and promotion. at present we are continuing and in part is due to a little review we did. this is by the guys going self employed.

this is rather than my paying them the net amount after calculating the tax from the gross pay, i just pay them the gross monthly amount for when they worked and they work out the tax at year end. the key here is that without my being an employer there is less payment from employer NI contribution hence a bit more in the pot. the guys are by no means money hungry but i think a change is as good as a rest. they know i care and recognise their working with me. they also progress and get kind of promotion from the little extra in the pot and any tax back on year end expenses.

my point really is the system is great to enable me to do the things i want to. however it is in part because it actually costs less than if i were in a home, unhappy and unhealthy. it isnt also so easy to be assessed and given the level required, i had to fight for the amount i receive now. once assessed and received the next steps are to ensure the PA’s earn a fair amount, receive training/qualification/can see it more as a career and in essence feel valued for the great work they do. i have rolled my last dice with my current guys, they will move on eventually but i feel happy i did what i could. next it will mean starting again and recruiting, training, trusting and relationship building which is a part of being disabled. the key is to appreciate what exists but to push what could be better. only then will the situation of social care be a finished article and actually saving the economy money by being efficient without turnover and waste.

Lastly a big thank you to my PA’s now and in the past. u really are good people!