It is now just over 6 months since I last posted anything on my blog. I have in the last few months met a number of my ‘Twitter’ friends who read my blog and follow me on Twitter and vowed that I will return to blogging and tweeting. So why the gap?
Towards the end of last year I was rather overwhelmed with supporting my parents who were both in residential care, packing up their house, managing their finances and supporting my daughter, Erica who had a gastrostomy fitted. My father then, rather unexpected died at the end of November. He had spent 2 weeks in hospital and died the day after he was discharged. I was so angry with the hospital that I felt I needed some distance firstly before writing to the hospital trust to make a complaint and then writing again as a blogger – the length of that distance has extended to quite some time.
In considering coming back to being an active ‘social media’ person I have given a lot of thought to what being part of the Twitter and blogging network has meant to me. Initially I entered this network as I felt I lacked knowledge about dementia and was finding supporting my father confusing and difficult. Often I knew what I should do, such as not argue with him – but old patterns took over and I would argue and try to reason with him. I owe a lot of my knowledge about dementia and the care of older people to the wonderful bloggers I have come across through Twitter. The network has helped me to remain ‘person-centred’ in planning with my parents – so easy to lose the plot when services are so ‘service-centred’. I hope I have also shared some of my thoughts and experiences with my readers.
I keep trying to convince myself that I have come to terms with my dad’s death. Making a complaint about the lack of dignity the hospital staff showed when treating my father before he died and the apology I received from the chief executive has given me some degree of closure. However, I am now very unsure of my relationship to ‘dementia’ – I read tweets about experiences others have with their loved ones and think – this does not apply to me and wonder if my relationship with dementia is over. Then I think – perhaps I have not come to terms with my father’s death. Do I still have a contribution to make when others tweet about dementia – I am really not sure.
I read the tweets last night during the programme ‘Protecting our Parents’ and still feel very much part of a wider supportive network – it was those tweets that convinced me to sit down this morning and to starting ‘blogging’. I have lots of issues stored up in my head that I want to blog about – so a promise to myself – post something on my blog at least once a month. The first issue for this weekend is – under the new Employment and Support Allowance free dental care is not longer an automatic right for the most severely disabled group of people. Well, more about that during the next week.
Thanks to all the Tweeters – who have encouraged me to return – it is a supportive network for those of us who are carers.