Monday, 14 April 2014

Home Care Starts Today

There are signal moments, deeply personal, that tell us our lives have changed forever, that our bodies are no longer what they once were, that we are no longer the person we were yesterday. These moments come to all of us, and are, in so many cases, so personal that others may not even understand their impact. For some it is the first grey hair, for others the onset of menopause, for even others it is a specific physical or ability change; each of us has them, each of us makes markers from them.

For me, along my ALS pathway, the first, even before diagnosis, was having to purchase and use a cane. Once that happened, I knew something was seriously wrong, something that I could no longer ignore. The next was going into a wheelchair, knowing that I would never walk again, let alone run or climb. Yet through all of this, I was still independent, stubbornly so. I was still able to live on my own and look after myself.

Today that changes. Today is the first visit from Alberta Home Care. Some will see this as a good thing, seeing how it will help me, how it will make my life easier, allowing me to focus my limited energy on things that are important to me. The Home Care worker will come and help me with exercises, working to help reduce the swelling in my feet. She will also spend some time making sure my kitchen is tidy and my dishwasher is empty, two tasks that take an awful lot for me to accomplish. Then, every other week, a Home Care worker will come and do a thorough cleaning of my apartment.

While this seems like a good thing, and some may say "I wish I could have that", this is something over which I have little say or control. I am compelled by circumstance to allow a stranger into my home to help care for me. This is not someone of my choosing, someone I have hired and can fire if I want. This is not someone who depends on my to pay them. This is a person for whom I am simply a factor of their daily production, a piece of their work life. I am not the boss, I am the client, the consumer of a government service.

I have lost my independence. I am now "in the system".

No comments:

Post a Comment