A response to the ‘care credits’ scheme

November 4, 2010

Disabled people have been responding to the suggested scheme (
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11657006) that rewards people with “time credits” for volunteering to help the elderly or disabled people. This is another result where hare brained schemes are hatched out of ignorance in the name of ‘saving money’ at the price of dignity and safety of disabled people.

Anne Whitehurst, a disabled activist and artist, expresses the horror that many disabled people feel about such a scheme:

This is so utterly egregious, horrendous and on so many levels. It is my right to choose and regulate who comes into my home and does intimate thing…s for me. I would die without it. It is my right to have a professional relationship where I contract people to do the job I have defined, at the time I require and they are given a decent remuneration for it.

Only a professional relationship such as this ensures the disabled person is autonomous and in control of their own every-day life and that there are safeguards for the employer and employee. It is abhorrent to think of one’s life, one’s survival being dependent on the whim of another person – at their discretion whether you’re neglected or whether you even die.

Would disabled people be setting themselves up as charities by allowing these ‘unpaid-volunteer-workers’ to work for their own future support. To give the sustained continuity of assistance, which disabled people need to survive, these unpaid-volunteer-workers would need to work many blocks of regular hours. When would they be earning a living if they were unpaid-volunteer-working for their own future provision?

For disabled people this is akin to prostitution and worse in many respects for there would be no choice. It is an abuse of our rights and of our bodies. These non-disabled people have not understood anything which disabled people and the disability community has explained to them over the past thirty odd years. They sign conventions and acts of parliaments and bills of rights but have no comprehension of what they’re signing. These people are in charge of the survival of our planet…! They should be ditched in the oceans they’ve polluted and want to further pillage.

She continues:

PAs need to be trained by disabled people: we’re the experts. I have to retrain people who ‘worked’ with disabled people as their attitude tends to be inappropriate and downright wrong due to society’s degrading beliefs about disabled people… and disability. it needs to be seen as a job where the disabled person is controlling the situation and not PAs.

I refrain from using the ‘c’ word as my aversion to this offensive description would melt my keyboard. It’s not ‘care’ it’s doing what you’re required to do, as in any other employment. The ‘c’ word leads to neglect via pity and contempt. I’ve witnessed Elderly Care Wards’ and older people’s residential institutions over several years and seen the results of ‘care:’ it’s dehydration and malnourishment. People die, or are killed, before their time and this can only increase unless it’s recognised that disabled people, of all ages, are not something lower than humanity.

We and our lives are of equal value with equal rights to everyone else. Now we have a govt who on the one hand is pretending life’s all nice and cosy-kind like in a children’s storybook from the 1950s (their’s probably is, with flashes of vice to relieve the boredom) and on the other showing their hatred and loathing of disabled people in particular but anyone who hasn’t wealth and the corrupt power which comes from it. (If I was into analysing them, which I’m giving up doing as it’s bad for me, I’d say their loathing was for themselves and this creates a desperate ego which needs constant inflating to keep it from touching the painful awareness.)

And if disabled people in Japan were so happy with the system, they would not have taken to the street to demonstrate for better support and new laws – see news article at the DAA site.

Ann Whitehurst at 3 Oct demo

Ann Whitehurst (with red hat) at 3 Oct demo

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