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Husband finding having a support worker hard - Carers UK Forum

Husband finding having a support worker hard

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My husband and I have recently had the first needs assessment and carers assessment in our new home (we are under a different council).

Well, I have to say that they have been nothing but helpful and really supportive - we are very lucky. I have received a carers personal budget and my husband now has a support worker. This, I think, is great for him as it helps with his social isolation. As he doesn't work (is medically retired) and has (mild, but significant) cognitive impairments and hearing problems he finds it hard to socialise. He spends 3 hours a week with the support worker, which gets him out and gives me a break too. He enjoys this mostly, but also finds it hard. He says things like he feels 'silly' having a 'rent a friend' - it breaks my heart. I think of it more as a way to get him out and build his confidence in social situations and in public. But he sometimes doesn't see it that way.

His cognitive impairments have been encroaching more and more on his life. His memory is getting worse and he gets more and more frustrated and upset more easily. He has, occasionally, these (what I call) 'mini freak outs' when he feels overwhelmed or confused (usually if too many people are talking at once or it is too loud). He covers his ears, cries and can start shouting. It can be embarrassing and concerning in public. I am not always sure how to calm him down.

Anyway, I think the support worker is a positive thing, but convincing him otherwise can be hard.

Any ideas?
Is the support worker also male? I know my son prefers male care staff but they are very difficult to find!
Do they just go out and about, or a specific activity together, i.e. shopping, or snooker at a pub?
I wonder if you can come at it from a different direction? At the moment, the 'explanation' for the support worker is that they are here to help HIM - and that is what your husband is finding difficult.

So, how about telling your husband the support worker is here to help YOU? ie, that thanks to the support worker, YOU now have a 'bit of time to yourself' where you don't have to worry about your husband, and have time in the house alone to 'get on with things' (or whatever) and it's 'such a relief to YOU' that the support worker is here to 'help' with the care YOU give, and so on.

Taking that attitude would, I hope, tap into your husband's love for YOU, and let him think that by accepting the support worker he is actually doing something for YOU....not himself.

I wonder, too, if you could have a quiet word with the support worker and point this out to them, and say 'Could you just say to my husband from time to time - how good it is that his wife is getting some time to herself, some time off caring, etc etc, and how glad he himself, ie, the support worker, is to lend a hand to such a good wife,' etc etc.
Hi Jess
Glad you posted. I was wondering how things were going
Thanks 😊 things hadn't been going to badly until Xmas really. I'm doing much better health wise myself and the council support here for my husband and me has been very good.

He does have a male support worker. He's lucky - it's another young guy who he gets on with pretty well. He likes him and likes getting out (they do varying things - going shopping, out for coffee, going to cinema tomorrow). He just is very down on himself. He is used to having a lot of friends around and being able to cope in social situations, and so he feels bad that he now 'needs' a support worker. But it's a good idea to come at it from a different angle - I think he will appreciate the break it gives me.
Just a thought, but does your hubby have skill sets of any kind that his young support worker might like to learn about? eg, if your husband, say, is into mechanics, can he use his time with the SW to 'teach' him 'useful things'??? That might enable your husband to feel less of a 'user' of a service and more of a 'provider' or 'teacher' so to speak!
That's a really good idea. Just not sure what he could do. The interests my husband had were either physical (bowling and walking), highly cerebral (law stuff and reading complex literature) or stuff he can't do anymore because of meds (CAMRA membership - ale etc); he isn't in a state to do any of that anymore let alone show someone else...

I'll have a think...
I would think that teaching someone young the basics of 'everyday' law would always be useful! eg, 'What are your rights if you get arrested?' etc.

Also maybe things like money management? Or maybe maths?

A conversation with the support worker might throw up areas the young man is interested in, or what else he wants to do with his life (does he want to be a support worker all his life, etc) (eg, could your husband teach him how to climb the greasy career pole - how to 'get on' eg, upward management of his own manager, that sort of thing).