6th May 2019 All Rights Reserved
I just gave Deb a look since she was beginning to look a little frazzled at the moment.
" Excuse me everyone. Excuse me. Listen up. I said listen up." I had to raise my voice to be heard.
I eventually got them all to shut up. I can see the frustration on some of their faces. The ones who were here to honestly see what can be done for them. They were the ones I was here for. A couple of them were giving me some funny puzzling looks as they looked at me. It was like they were trying to place me and couldn't quite do it.
" There is only so much time for this meeting with most of you, and ourselves included, that only have so much time before our commitments take over again. So please, write your questions down and e will go over them as time allows at the end. Please." I ended up yelling. I even had to walk to the front and stand between Deb and the gaggle of women who were trying to take over this meeting.
" This is Rene. She is taking over the meeting as of now." Deb suddenly said and backed right off to go to the back of the room next to Betty who was just looking on wondering what the hell they have come here for most likely.
" I asked someone this morning what they wanted as a carer to make their lives easier for them to perform their role as a carer. I am going to give you all five minutes to write down what you all want to make your lives easier as well. Then we are going to talk about those wants and see what we need to do to be able to get them." I looked at my watch.
" You have note pads and pens in front of you. The clock starts now." Deb yelled out in a loud voice.
I watched as Deb turned to Betty and Tony and asked them something. Then after Deb took the folded piece of paper from them that Tony pulled out of his pocket and passed it over, she opened it and stood up. She then walked to the front o me and passed it over for me to look at.
" I think we can add to that." She said as we both looked down at it.
" Absolutely." Was my on mind when I looked over the list and lifted my head and smiled to a nervous looking older couple up the back.
" If you need to ask your table partner anything they might need, go ahead if that helps to give you more ideas. But remember, we are now down to three minutes." I called out. They all looked up at me before the talking started up. But they were all writing furiously down on the paper in front of them.
I watched the clock and waited.
" Ten second people." I called out.
Some had already done finished and were tiredly sitting there waiting for everyone else. Either they were that tired physically and emotionally or had no idea what to ask for.
I turned and pulled the white board over and face the others int he room with it. I picked up the marker and started writing down two words with a line down the board.
WANTS in the first and in the second column, NEEDS with a slightly curvy line between the two.
" All right. I am going to ask what the first thing is that you wrote at the top. Let's start with you, Carol." I asked her which I think surprised her.
" Availability." Was all she said which surprised me.
Mainly because I would have chosen the availability of services as well. If that is what she had been thinking.
" Of what?" Someone called out. I looked back at Carol and raised a brow at her.
" More services." I was right. I just nodded to her when she called that out over her shoulder.
" Is that a need or a want?" I asked everyone. Not just Carol.
" It's a need. If it is not local, it needs to be close enough to get access to it." Betty was the one to call that out.
" Yes." I wrote that down as the first of many to go into the needs column.
Then we started getting more and more words that mean something. Assistance. More support. A variety of support. Assistive technology. The whole board was covered on both sides with wants and needs required.
" I think there is one thing that you have all forgotten to think about where these are all concerned?" I called out when there was a moment of quiet throughout the room.
No one asked what it was.
" Anyone?" I called out as I held my hand out to the whiteboard.
Until another voice called out which surprised everyone. Including Deb who gasped in shock.
" There are no such things as a want when you are caring for someone regardless of the degree of age or disability." I just smiled. Then everyone looked to see who was standing there in the doorway.
" Exactly." I said as I turned around to the board and removed the line down the middle and the word WANT at the top. Everything on the board now looked like a need. Then I turned to look at Lucy again.
" You're late." I growled at her.
" Flat tire on the way in." She snarled back at me. I just grinned at her.
" Federal Minister for Aged Care and Disability Services, Lucy Fellings, everyone." I said to those who might not know who the smartly dressed woman was who is now entering the room with a smile while stopping to say hello to Deb and to Netty, which everyone noticed.
Then she said hello to everyone else until she reached me where I got a hug and a kiss from her like I normally do when we catch up with each other.
" Sorry I am late, Doreene. But I am here." I smiled when some of the others now realize who I actually am, Betty and Tony included.
I watched as Lucy then turned to look at everyone.
" Home Assist is coming to Kerrville. But to help set up a center as a suitable base, we need to have the input of everyone who is a carer in the local and outer laying community. There are families here, as in other areas, who are socially isolated and unable to get the services they need because distance and availability are the problem." She now took over from me with making it known why we are really here.
" I know of one family who would like to have the help of a hoist that can be operated throughout their house to assist with lifting and assisting their non mobile child. That is going to be something I will be personally talking to the family about when I get a moment to spare today while I am here." She said with a grin now that she is in her element.
Then I stepped back and let the professional carer take complete control of the meeting and asking questions I wouldn't think to ask. But I made a good start with how it was all started with the wants and needs we all want to have. The others were a little hesitant to begin at first.
But Lucy was good and making people feel comfortable so they can get their thoughts out. Some of which they didn't know they even had lurking in their minds until she brought them out.
Needless to say, Lucy had a file with names that she was going to have her team call on before they left to go back home. She was going to spend a few days here getting to know as many carers as she can. But she was going to start with Betty and Tony after meeting Netty.
Netty's case was critical.
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