One of Pavilion’s best-selling authors, Phoebe Caldwell, has raised concerns that a lack of investment in training support staff looking after those with autism and dementia is leaving the most vulnerable without basic care.
Phoebe’s comments come after recent research shows that over a million older people in the UK need care but don’t receive it. In addition, while the number of people with autism continues to increase, access to specialist care and support remains limited.
In an interview, Phoebe aired her thoughts on the matter: “Government cutbacks are having a particularly disastrous effect on training: staff numbers are being pruned to the point where it is no longer possible for service providers to release unskilled staff or specialist autism or dementia training, both of which place high demands on carers.”
Phoebe continued: “Where care is provided, staff pay is minimal and quality of care patchy, sometimes very good and sometimes criminal. And where a visit is scheduled to last for fifteen minutes and offers the choice between washing and toilet visits or toast, with different support staff every visit, it is difficult for the most dedicated carers to provide adequate support.”
Dr Caldwell wants to call upon the government to invest more in training care staff so that people living with severe autism and also those with dementia receive the day-to-day care they need to ensure their most basic needs are met.
Without the right care, growing older can be seen as all doom and gloom which sadly Phoebe has seen in her work with families living with autism. This issue is tackled with insight from Phoebe’s experience in her latest book Driving South to Inverness which aims to challenge the perceptions of ‘old age’ humorously and poignantly.
Take a look at Phoebe’s autobiographical memoir here.