I also need to find more time to read especially as my Blog Buddy Joan has sent me 'The Secret Scripture'. Joan volunteers as a 'book giver' for World Book Night. Isn't that a great idea? You go along and pick up your books and then it is your job to 'gift' them out to people. I have told you before about The Fifty Book Challenge. I think I have read a grand total of three so far! I have already asked if I can cheat and include 'Mr Men' books and Ladybird books. I can manage books with more pictures than writing at the moment. The rate I am reading I will be 50 before I complete the 50 book challenge. Joan has sent a copy of this book to those of use taking part in the challenge and we are going to do a 'read along'. Timed perfectly for the Bank Holiday Weekend. I have visions of me getting so far behind in this read along! Reading the blurb it sounds like this book will be 'my cup of tea' (especially if the sun is shining and I can get some peace in the garden);
"Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne's story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland's changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope."
In my 'former' life I used to work with adults with 'Learning disabilities and Challenging behaviour'. They had spent their adult life in institutions. Many large 'hospitals' were closed and the clients were moved into 'care in the community homes'. Much smaller and more homely homes. This was a really positive and progressive change. Some of the 'carers'/nurses moved with the clients and would talk about how things worked in the larger institutions. The move to smaller 'homes' greatly improved the quality of life for many individuals. In the larger 'hospitals' patients slept on wards, often clothes, linen etc were communal. ( I would not like 'communal clothes' I like me own thanks). In smaller homes each client had their own room and their own possessions. Each client had an individual care plan that catered to their individual needs and preferences. Staff saw dramatic changes in the clients as previously medication was used over zealously as a regular/daily form of low maintenance 'behaviour management'. It kept individuals passively subdued. I worked with some clients that were in their sixties or seventies. I was told a story about one of the ladies that I could not verify...but she was supposedly institutionalised for getting pregnant out of wedlock she spent the rest of her life 'in the system'.
There was a move away from the terms nurse and carer, the term enabler came into use. That subtle shift in language created a subtle shift in thinking. To enable somebody to achieve things that they could not achieve on their own is so much more empowering than simply 'taking care of them' and doing everything for them. (I had no idea I was going to waffle this much again)!
I think I will enjoy this book, it is already making me appreciate the progress society has made within the field of social care. I know there is always more progress to be made. It makes me think of this quote by Gandhi;
"A nations greatness is judged by how it treats it's weakest members".