What's going on when carers gang up?

What’s going on when carers gang up?

Our series of Conversation Starters begins with relationship issues arising from caring for adult relatives.

In our story, Steve and John increasingly care for their aging mother and sister (who has a mild learning disability).  Over the phone they discuss their relatives’ life choices and habits (Scene 1)  They think they know what’s best and life would be so much easier if their loved ones just did what they were told!

Their growing frustration is shown in the words they use, which may, over time, come to define how they see their mum and sister.  Their use of language shows how easily an ‘us/them’ divide can be set up between those caring and those being cared for.

If neither Steve nor John do anything to address their feelings, then where could this situation lead…?

Why is this relationship issue important?

Across the story of Scrambled, Steve and John express much love and care for their mum and sister, as well as the frustration shown in Scene One.  However, this is not always the case within families or communities or institutions.  This relationship issue is important because it shows the links between:

  • how we manage and express our anger
  • how we use language that dehumanises and objectifies others
  • how power and opportunity can lead to abusive behaviour

Below you’ll find:

  • a link to Conversation Starter 1 – What’s going on when carers gang up? (a pdf)
  • a link to the blog introducing Conversation Starter 2
What’s going on when carers gang up? (pdf)
Conversation Starter 2 – blog

Steve – I’m glad I don’t live here…it’s all gone a bit…feral…You could come up this weekend, persuade mum to accept more help? Bring up power of attorney at the same time – kill two birds…

John – Two big birds!

Steve – Ostriches!