09. 1993 #ART – SILENCE IS (NOT ALWAYS) GOLDEN.

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A presentation supporting the need for a Development Worker for deaf people in Mansfield

Commissioned by Angie Milne Nottinghamshire County Council Social Work Service for Deaf People 1993

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Imagine…

You are 40 years old…and profoundly deaf.

Because of mental health problems you also need a daily cocktail of drugs

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You are cared for by your elderly Mother who means well but is so protective she still chooses the clothes you wear.

She has little understanding of how you really feel and is reluctant to let go.

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Much of the communication between your Mother and you involves her screaming into your face as she has few signing abilities.

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You are isolated, bored and frustrated. No-one understands the burdens you carry or the way you feel.

You feel like a time bomb…tick…tick…tick. You can only take so much…

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Then one day…you finally snap!

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You hit your Mother. You smash the furniture and the windows. Your house is completely wrecked.

It seems…you also have challenging behaviour?

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After your explosion you go upstairs to calm down.

Signing Social Workers arrive and for a brief period some of your frustrations are temporarily relieved. You can at least communicate how you feel.

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Now imagine…

A crisis. Mum becomes ill and is taken into an elderly person’s home.

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An emergency placement is sought by Social Services. It is not easy.

No appropriate residential home is available in Nottinghamshire. All are out of county.

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Finally a placement is found in Preston, Lancashire, which unfortunately is several hundred miles away from your family…your friends…and community.

But it is only for a maximum of 3 years. The cost of your placement is £300 a week.

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Living so far away means that you don’t see you Mother very often. You both find it hard.

‘Letting go’ becomes a very forced and painful situation.

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The workload for Social Workers becomes enormous…and also expensive.

Travelling, liaising, reports, feeding back, ongoing rehabilitation etc etc etc……

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There is an answer.

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