Service User

Tru here. Discussion of terminology for care is a hot-topic all the way around. These are my personal thoughts regarding the term “service user”:

In my experience the problem is not the impersonal nature of the term “service user”, but rather the consuming nature of the term. We are the “user”, “consumer”, etc. Our care “provider” is the “Giver”; the one who has what we will use up. It all emphasizes the one-way road of communication and support. It emphasizes our position of sucking up everything you have.

How would you feel about finding out that you could never again be the “giver” and the “provider”, but would be on the other end for the rest of life — consuming and using and taking?

It is no surprise that many dementia patients are in the process of arranging for assisted suicide … because we cannot live with the idea of imposing that on our loved ones. I know many people object to it as unrealistic, but I think successful care-giving is only when there is a partnership in the process.

Our family taught ballroom dance, and I think really successful care-partnering is like partnership dance; there needs to be a leader and a follower to create the synergistic flow, but it is necessary for both partners to step in tandem in order for that beauty and exhilarating experience to be created. The patient is the employer; the teacher of patience and the instructor for the importance of awareness in each moment. Teaching the tremendous power of touch and the awareness of soul and spirit is an important role. Our brain is dying but I don’t believe our soul is dying. In the process of meeting needs created during the long good-bye YOU can be the consumer and student as well as a provider.

I don’t have the answer, but I think someone needs to ask the patient what WE think in the issue of terminology!

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One thought on “Service User

  1. I am very much at a variable point in my writing. I wrote this blog entry last night and I have tried both this morning and this afternoon to understand what I wrote … unsuccessfully. Blah – blah – blah. I understand individual words but they are meaningless put together. ((feeling sad today))

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