Most of us hope that, should we ever need care, we will have kind, compassionate people to look after us. And that’s exactly what author Henrietta Spink, the mother of two severely disabled sons, was looking for when she started relying on help for Henry, 30 and Freddie, 27.
For 365 days a year, four carers, drawn by rota from a 14-strong team and paid for by health and social services, come into her home to help change, bathe and feed her boys and oversee their safety, giving her and her husband a brief, but much-earned, break — and one night’s uninterrupted sleep a week.
While there are many wonderful, selfless carers out there, Henrietta says she has witnessed a service in crisis, with poor managers and disaffected staff who are undervalued, underqualified and underpaid (most barely make the minimum wage of £7.83 an hour.)
The experience has left her not only weeping with frustration, but genuinely frightened for her boys’ future. Here, Henrietta, 55, who lives on the South Coast with her husband, Michael, 61, an art expert, opens her harrowing diary . . .