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dyspraxia and social care

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
wasn't sure whether to post this in health or work, so did eeny meeny miny mo. this one won :) sorry if this seems incoherent in places, it's been on my mind for ages.


i recently started an apprenticeship about a month ago in social care, my first placement is at a residential home specialising in caring for elderly people with dementia. although i am really enjoying it i feel like my dyspraxia is holding me back. for example, it's very hands on. i took part in a moving and handling course in which i was shown how to support a resident out of a chair/wheelchair/bed. i think people now expect me to just be able to do it. whenever i approach the issue that i'm not confident with moving and handling the seniors tell me nicely that it will come with experience. i don't think my general clumsiness etc has had a chance to let itself fully show because i am still shadowing because my CRB hasn't come back yet so i can't do anything on my own.

part of this shadowing is good but part of it is bad. i mean i can be shown how to do something and told how to do it but it still doesn't go in. an example is the right way to help someone up. you are supposed to place your hand kind of underneath their arm. i do know that you are definitely not supposed to lift or support a resident underneath their arm pits but apart from that i draw a blank. i just attempt everything in a really cack handed way. also pushing wheelchairs around, people just dont really ask me because they can see how unconfident i am at pushing these around the narrow corridoors. also, because the home has residents with varying degrees of dementia, there are tons of locked doors in which you need a code to enter on a keypad. i'm expected to remember 4 four digit codes.

i get really frustrated at myself because i have to check my notepad everytime at the doors so it makes me look slow. i try to challenge myself to remember but i just can't.

i don't really like talking about my dyspraxia because i have a feeling some people will think i am making excuses. it is making me feel incompetant and there are so many things i need to remember. where residents sit (at the table and in the lounge), whether they are diabetic, what room number, names, mobility issues. there is a guy on the same apprenticeship as me, same inexperience and everything and he has settled in so well and can remember everything. i cant help comparing myself to him. also a girl around my age that i was shadowing for a few days told me that she took 3 weeks to settle in and then was fine and when i got something wrong she said 'cmon you should know this by now'. i know it isn't my fault but at the same time i know it isn't hers. she doesn't know how bad my memory is. but i dont want to bleat 'i'm dyspraxic' at her because i have a feeling she doesn't like me much anyway.

this apprenticeship has been organised by both a council and a college. both know that i am dyspraxic and dyslexic but no idea if they have told the boss at the residential home. i asked them to but god knows.

so i'm stuck i guess. i enjoy this job and the people there have been so nice to me apart from that one incident where i coudl see the person i was shadowing was slightly exasperated with me. but when i do try and talk about how unconfident i still am especially with regards to moving and handling i'm told that it will come with inexperience and sometimes 'you just gotta do it'. im not sure whether to ask for 5 mins with the boss who seems nice but i know i'm going to feel embarassed talking to her and i wouldnt want it to seem like i'm dobbing any of the people in that i am shadowing. i dont want her to jump to the conclusion that people haven't shown me how to do things. but then if i do tell her, i dont see what else she can suggest?

or maybe i should go straight to my contact with the college who has organised it :confused: help. it's just really annoying because i do really really love the job. i can see the parts i'm good at are talking and relating to people. i just dont want to be told that this isnt the job for me because that will really make me feel like shit. but at the same time, the residential home i am in is a dyspraxic person's worst nightmare. narrow corridoors for pushing wheelchairs, locked doors which you have to remember the code for, wheelchairs that are all different (diff ways of putting on the brakes, foot rests), walking up stairs with trays of food and cups of tea. arghhh. i am getting by but i also know people at work are probably wondering what the hell i'm doing there.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would definitely go and speak to someone at the college first and make sure the residential home knows - I think it's really important they do because maybe they could do things/approach things differently to help you? It doesn't sound like your having major problems so I really doubt you would be told this isn't for you - it just sounds as though there are things they could do to help you. And, it does take time to settle in and learn things - weeks or months, people understand that, you're not just going to 'get' things. Make lots of notes if it helps, I'm crap at remembering codes and things so I just carry them round on paper!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks :) i have a little bumbag with a jotter in with the codes all on. as dorky as that sounds! i keep getting paranoid that people expect me to do it all now and think i'm stupid because it has almost been a month now. on a happy note, had such a lovely day today at work :)

    do you think i should definitely approach the college first rather than the manager? i was thinking today about saying to the manager (when i get to see her) that i am dyspraxic and it just means that i'll be a slower at picking things up but that i WILL pick things up. what do you think?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're happy talking to the manager I'd go for that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks :) i think i will when i can catch her! good day at work though so i am feeling more and more optimistic :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd go for the manager as well - it sounds like you need some people to make some allowances for you but if you don't tell them whats wrong then they can't be expected to know - though i think your college should have told them and it should have been brought up during your induction.

    I would be prepared to tell them about both of your conditions and how they affect you and any extra help that you need. It might be that you need to think about the codes in a different way (maybe a word that you might text on your phone) and everyone is right that the handling and pushing will come with practice (maybe ask if you can have a bit of a go pushing a wheelchair about without a person in it)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks wyetry :)

    i had a chance to say something today but bottled it. the manager asked if i understood or hadn't heard (i must have looked confused as usual) and i said 'sorry i'm just slow!' .. that is kinda true with regards to my processing skills test results. i need to get my arse in gear and ask to have 10 mins just to sit down with either of them.

    i kept bumping into things today (mostly door ways) but i accidentedly knocked a walking frame into a particularly frail old lady today, felt awful when she said 'owwwww'. bahhh
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    just an update :)

    ended up sending an email to the lady from the council running this apprenticeship scheme just to check she had told them. she replied that she had and maybe i could have a word with my manager just to remind her. anyway, went to work the next day and i think she must have contacted them because one of the managers was super nice and told me if i ever needed any help or didn't understand something just to ask.

    i told her i felt silly because i had been writing the door codes down in a notebook because i couldnt remember them and she said it was fine and even tried to help me by suggesting i remember the code as a pattern on the keypad rather than the numbers themselves.

    i think the other staff have been told because i heard one of them telling the other (when they thought i was out of earshot haha) that i have learning difficulties.. just hope everyone remains patient with me. i keep thinking someone is gonna eventually get the arse with me because i keep asking silly questions and being disorganised.

    anyway i guess it's better that it's out in the open but i feel a bit 'special' now, i could tell people were being extra nice to me but i shouldnt complain really :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If your feeling up to it (and your probably not) you might even want to ask if you could volunteer to do a short presentation at a staff meeting - not about you but just dyspraxia in general as its probably the type of thing that people don't understand as it has a scary name but so you can explain that it is etc so that if they come across another dyspraxic person in future they can help them as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wyetry wrote: »
    If your feeling up to it (and your probably not) you might even want to ask if you could volunteer to do a short presentation at a staff meeting - not about you but just dyspraxia in general as its probably the type of thing that people don't understand as it has a scary name but so you can explain that it is etc so that if they come across another dyspraxic person in future they can help them as well.

    if i had the balls to do that i would because that is a really good idea :) im not a great public speaker at all though, if anyone asks inividually however i'll explain how it affects me. at the moment everyone is being a bit erm, excessive? asking if i am okay and then 'awhing' me a lot. blaaaah. i'd rather that though then people being horrible i guess :)
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