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Confronting the carer of a Dementia sufferer. - Page 7 - Carers UK Forum

Confronting the carer of a Dementia sufferer.

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
81 posts
Charles, I don't want to add flames to the fire, but I do seriously think that the 'everyone welcome' rubric is merely a way of indicating that this is an 'open' society which permits anyone to join simply because they are interested, rather than one that sets conditions about membership by requiring specific qualifications and/or a formal election process. We have all, surely, belonged to societies of both kinds.

As I have said at length above, I think that asking a single committee member to write to the carer expressing the disquiet of some, though apparently not all, the members, is a thoughtless and extremely unwise thing to do. It is a curiously amateurish approach to the situation.

Tristesa
As the mum of a son with severe learning difficulties, I can honestly say that societies constant rejections of a less than perfect child behaving less than perfectly has led me to deep despair at times. I dread to think how a recipient of your proposed email rejection will make him feel. He's already, living his worst nightmare. Do you really have to add to it, and by email!?
BB, hope you don't mind but I have used above to start a new discussion, did not want to take this one off topic

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=22941
Tristesa, that's the point. If membership is truly open to all, then it is open with no preconditions. To tell a member that they are welcome but cannot bring someone - anyone - with them, for whatever reason, closes that argument.

If attendance is open to all, again - problem.

If there is a problem with a member, it should be dealt with openly by the committee, not skulking behind the scenes and electing a firing squad of one to do the dirty work.

There is no circumstance within the rules as publicised that allow for the actions being taken. And there is, I'm afraid, the little matter of The Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.
(2) It is unlawful for an association to which this section applies, in the case of a disabled person who is not a member of the association, to discriminate against him⎯ (a) in the terms on which it is prepared to admit him to membership; or (b) by refusing or deliberately omitting to accept his application for membership.

(3) It is unlawful for an association to which this section applies, in the case of a disabled person who is a member, or associate, of the association, to discriminate against him⎯ (a) in the way it affords him access to a benefit, facility or service; (b) by refusing or deliberately omitting to afford him access to a benefit, facility or service; (c) in the case of a member⎯ (i) by depriving him of membership, or (ii) by varying the terms on which he is a member; (d) in the case of an associate⎯ (i) by depriving him of his rights as an associate, or (ii) by varying those rights; or (e) in either case, by subjecting him to any other detriment.

(4) It is unlawful for an association to which this section applies to discriminate against a disabled person⎯ (a) in the way it affords him access to a benefit, facility or service, (b) by refusing or deliberately omitting to afford him access to a benefit, facility or service, or (c) by subjecting him to any other detriment, in his capacity as a guest of the association.

(5) It is unlawful for an association to which this section applies to discriminate against a disabled person⎯ (a) in the terms on which it is prepared to invite him, or permit a member or associate to invite him, to be a guest of the association;
There's a lot more here, including the full paper to which I've referred.

http://www.equalityni.org/sections/default.asp?cms=The Law_The legislation&cmsid=4_278&id=278&secid=5#disability

In law, while the whole organisation may be found guilty in any court case, that is only if the organisation has knowingly met and handled the situation formally. Otherwise it's down to the one who writes the letter.

You may wish to reconsider, Irene...I'm no lawyer, but then where the law is concerned I'm not a betting man.
Okay, but membership and attendance rights are not identical. All members can attend meetings, but whether non-members may attend or not may vary. Some societies permit members to bring guests to meetings (some allow only one guest per member, others an unlimited number — and some charge an entrance fee for guests introduced by members), while others do not permit non-members to attend at all. A society could still be 'open' as far as joining it is concerned, yet permit only full members in good standing to attend meetings — no guests. While that would be a bit unusual if the society meets to hear lectures, for example, I suspect it may be more common in societies where the point of the meetings is for members to practise performance skills of various kinds. If non-members, in effect the general public, are freely allowed to participate in all the activities and training of a society, there is not much point in expecting anyone to pay a subscription to belong to the group!

We actually do not know whether the poor lady with dementia is a paid-up member, or as the guest of a member? My impression was the latter, but we do not know. It makes quite a difference ideologically, and possibly also in terms of anti-discrimination law.

I am not a lawyer, either, though I do have a lot of practical experience of many very different types of societies over the last 40-odd years, including a lot of committee work. But in any case, we are in broad agreement. I don't think that anyone should have laid upon Irene the task of sending a written complaint to the member. This is sloppy practice, whether or not it is legal. And I certainly think she would be wise to refuse. And I also think the society should get their rules and constitution updated and sorted out, with proper reference to social attitudes and to legislation that long post-date the original foundation of the group.

Tristesa
[I don't think that anyone should have laid upon Irene the task of sending a written complaint to the member. ]quote,Tristesa.
Irene says in her first post that she is the one who offered to write a letter.
Whether the lady herself was a former member or not, her husband is also now covered by the Disability Discrimination Act(I believe) as a Carer.
Tristesa, I agree that the method is the most worrying part of all this. However, the Order I've quoted from covers attendance as well as membership.

I remember the new owner telling me my son was not welcome in a café because of the noises he made. Mike had been a customer for some time before this owner had taken over the café, and was well-known to its regulars. Gill and I made it clear that if my son was not welcome, nor were we. The café closed down a few months later: apparently a number of customers felt the same way.

That's just one of the dangers here: we know of a "number" of face-pullers in the crowd. We don't know what everyone thinks: but there will be a number who will be saying "not in my name".

Basically, when it comes down to it, there's no sensitive way to tell someone that their wife is not welcome.
Okay, but membership and attendance rights are not identical.

We actually do not know whether the poor lady is a member of the society or not. Is she attending as a paid-up member, or as the guest of a member? My impression was the latter, but we do not know. It makes quite a difference ideologically, and possibly also in terms of anti-discrimination law.

Tristesa
And yes Charles, I think we are all agreed there is no sensitive way to tell a man his wife is unwelcome. And probably no legal way either.

From the opening post this looked like a case of asking the wrong question. In the wrong forum.
[I don't think that anyone should have laid upon Irene the task of sending a written complaint to the member. ]quote,Tristesa.
Irene says in her first post that she is the one who offered to write a letter.
Whether the lady herself was a former member or not, her husband is also now covered by the Disability Discrimination Act(I believe) as a Carer.

Oops, I have now forgotten how all of this began, and I'm afraid I don't read all the way through each time before leaping in again. Image

The legal situation is obviously complex, but this only underlines how important it is for the society to consider this issue in a very careful and well-informed manner.

I think I have said as much as I wish to say on this topic, and in any case it is difficult to type because I have a cat sitting on me.

Tristesa
And as a quick addition before I slob out and watch Downton Abbey ...... What an interesting internet trail for this club.

The dangers of the Internet huh?
81 posts