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Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Sola12, Jan 20, 2015.
I just wondered what sort of experiences people have had??
I am very lucky and work for two small companies and the bosses both have parents similar in age to my MIL with problems themselves. This morning I had to take a "2 hour lunchbreak" to sort MIL out. I just have to make the extra hour back up. My job is not entirely time dependent as I do not deal with clients I am in support so as long as my work gets done it's ok. So I just come in half an hour early and actually get more done in the quiet every now and then.
I am sure that their patience will run out soon though!
When I first told some colleagues that my mother had moved in with us, one actually said to me in private that he didn't think it was a good idea . . . what about my workload? . . . how would I manage? . . . it was career suicide.
Imagine saying this to someone! And then imagine my consternation in having to speak to him after this!
He was one, by the way, who really really disliked his mother - at least he had no trouble telling me so several years ago . . . .
I don't feel supported. When I have to miss meetings (in my work, they hold meetings late in the day, after the prime work hours are over) because I have to be home to make dinner and take care of my family, people notice. It's not a comfortable work climate at all.
I have had unpaid leave on a regular basis for a year (nurse, non nhs) and also compassionate leave for a week once when things got to the point that dad couldn't look after mum any more (headmaster had personal experience of a parent with dementia apparently). Also have input from HR who know I have been off sick recently with stress and my line manager who checks how things are at home now. My colleagues support me by saying they will cover if I ever need to be late or take some time off.
I have repaid them by taking on what extra I can at work and by being loyal. I also pay it forward by covering for the nurses I manage when they have difficulties and supporting them with phone calls when they have hard times (no, not calls asking when they are coming back!).
I work part time for a Bank, and have been with the same employer for 25yrs.
In my experince it all comes down to who your Management is at that time.
11 yrs ago when my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour, I was given 3 months unpaid leave to care for him through 7 weeks of radiation treatment.
At times I still had to use up all my sick leave which is 10 days a year, all my annual leave for days when he was poorly or ended up in hospital with infections.
They would not allow me to swap any of my days of work if it clashed with hospital appointments
When I was at work they made no allowances whatsoever for my work load, and denied my requests for light duties. I had 2 young children at that time.
11 yrs later, my husband is still doing well but I now care for my Mum with AD and Dad with MCI.
In comparison, they allowed me to swap my days of work for me to attend a Dementia Carers course. They agreed to me increasing my hours but cutting back a day, so I now only work 3 days.
If I get to work a bit late, they don't harass me ( as long as I don't make a habit of it )
They allow me to work public holidays, so I can accrue an extra day off, if I need to use over and above my sick leave entitlements.
On my 25 yrs service I got an extra 2 weeks annual leave. They have agreed to me taking it at very short notice if, there should be any issues with Mum or Dad.
All very different to 11 years ago.
I have the most awesome, best boss ever. When my mother was kicking off in 2005 and 2006, he just told me to do what I had to do and worry about work later. It was the same in 2010 when my husband had emergency cancer surgery - I was off work a few days, then I went into work in the morning and hospital in the afternoon. I did that for a couple of weeks, then took another week off when my husband came home. I was never, ever made to feel guilty about it. I did make up a lot of time but when you have someone so kind and understanding, you want to do as much as you can in return.
Mind you, we have the same sense of humour - he teases me about blonde moments and I give him as good as I get, asking if he wants me to discuss baldness or shortness.
A wonderful man and I have been extremely blessed with him.
It depends on your manager. I have to make up every minute of the time I take off. I have to give a full explanation on why I want the time off even though they know what is wrong with my husband.
There are no allowances for any errors in my work and some work colleagues think I am making mountains out of molehills. I have asked to change my hours to leave a little earlier but that has been refused. Time to move on perhaps?
Before I retired 2 years ago I was a primary school headteacher. At that time my mother was living with us and she had vascular dementia. My husband has Alzheimer's. I found my line managers (Director of Education, equivalent to Assistant Director and my Education Officer) 100% supportive. I was fortunate in that our house is only 5 minutes drive to the school. I often had to pop along the road to sort something out or see how things were. This was done with the full support of my managers. Any time there was a more major emergency I was told just to go and do what I had to do. When my husband had the chance to take part in a clinical trial at a Memory Clinic in Glasgow I asked for permission to attend the sessions with him as he would only have been accepted if a carer went with him. Due to the distance I had to have a full day each time he had an appointment. I asked if I could take unpaid leave to go with him and I was given permission to go on full pay. I couldn't have asked for more support.
For those who are struggling this might help,
Carers have a right to have their request for flexible working considered, and there is a strict time frame if you do this using the ACAS procedures so it happens quite fast. You also have the right to time off in an emergency,
My experience is that you have the right to ask for flexible working, but not the right to actually have it.
oh dear, sorry to hear that. I haven't had to use it myself but went to a meeting with a friend as her support, she got what she wanted.
It's true, you have no right to have it granted. And when you get it granted, make sure you get a trial period after which it's considered permanent. Mine was granted when it suited my employer and taken away when it didn't suit them anymore. They claimed I was still in my trial period. After nine months!
I joined my company age 59 and, very shortly after, my father died. They were consideration itself. I'm extremely lucky in that I can do my job remotely as, since dad died, my mother's dementia has reduced her capacity big time. I'm now 65, my working hours have been reduced to 12 days a month and I'm currently at mum's while we try and organise a care home for her (she's 90). In all of this my employers have been concerned, flexible and even ran a Dementia Friends day in the office. A couple of other employees have sniped about my 'favourable' treatment but I just hope they are never faced with coping with the bad stuff of life. This is a very large US corporation so it falls to the UK HR team and my immediate manager to take the credit.
I have also been quite lucky. As my parents live at the end other end of the country, I'm not able to be on hand on a daily basis. My manager is fully aware of the situation and how things are progressing. When I travelled back home with my parents last year after they had been visiting on holiday I took the travel day as holiday and was given compassionate leave for the following day (where we had organised for alzheimers society to visit them at home) and for the day after that for me to get home.
When i have needed to be available for phone calls and for emergency distraction it hasn't been a problem at all.
Bearing in mind that as folk are said to be living for longer, dementia may be more common place and more folk will be touched by the illness. I would like to think that as a society we would care more about the people we work with and interact with to provide the support and assistance that they need.