Voices from the campaign community
7 March 2018
By Sophie Lock
‘We did have an elderly friend who had 15 minute personal care visits and really hated it.
‘She got rushed when she was helped with bathing, and some of them didn't really speak to her.’
That is the view of one person who took part in our social care ‘Twitter chat’ last week.
For those who aren’t familiar with social media, a Twitter chat is a conversation where questions are posed on Twitter and users reply.
The chat is about a specific topic, and it is a good opportunity for people to share their opinions!
Our campaign is calling for more funding for social care. We know that good care transforms disabled people’s lives but that at the moment social care is being chronically underfunded.
Disabled and older people with personal care needs (such as the woman above) are receiving rushed homecare visits because of this lack of funding.
I wanted to know more about the experience of people on Twitter, and what they thought should be improved about their care.
So we teamed up with Twitter account @EverydayAbleism to host the chat.
Lack of control
I noticed an overwhelming feeling among people who joined in the chat. It was that when people were given social care, they weren’t given the ability to decide what they wanted to do.
As one person said:
‘If I'm in control of my hours, I should be able to use them how I need, not be micromanaged over them… In the way care is done now, it sometimes feels like fake independence.
‘It just all comes down to listening to our needs instead of relying on what feels like an institutional model.’
I was really struck by this statement. Social care should mean that disabled people can be as independent as possible — it should mean that people can live the lives they choose.
At the moment many social care services just aren’t allowing this!
It was really interesting, then, to hear from another person who has found a solution. The use of ‘befriending’ has helped one person to get the care they need.
As the person said:
‘I can do anything I need to, it's flexible regardless of needs, and I think this should be the model for social care.’
A postcode lottery
It’s good to hear from people about what is working for them. Unfortunately, it seems as though access to different types of social care really depends on where people live.
One person tweeted to say:
‘There's a lot of discrepancies between what parts of the south get to what's in the north to the rural areas and it's hard to advocate for yourself when a lot of the information is about something you don't have access to.’
I was so frustrated by this point! Receiving good care should not be a postcode lottery and people must be able to easily find out what care they are entitled to.
The Twitter chat has shown me how important it is that social care gets more funding. We will keep campaigning to make care fair across the country.
Sophie Lock is a campaigns officer at Leonard Cheshire Disability.