Sitting down with one of the Occupational Therapists at the brain injury unit, we brainstormed some of the key elements to choosing the right care agency for Paul and our family. These people were going to be in our home and imposing on our privacy. So if I wanted to walk around the house naked or hose the garden in my wedding dress, I would either have to deal with the judgement (and possible involuntary commitment to an institution for the mentally deranged) or put those ideas to bed. To have Paul at home, I needed to accept the help from a professional care agency specialising in disability. But how to choose the right one? Great question. See, I had no idea what to expect when the OT said I would choose from a selection of organisations. I would interview them all one by one and then decide which one was best. Here’s the thing though…..how do you choose the best organisation based on the oratory speech skills of one person? I was expecting the process to be something synonymous to buying a car. The salesperson (in my experience this is usually a guy in a suave suit and sunglasses) giving me his most zealous and resolute sales pitch. You want to buy that overpriced, high mileage, ageing sedan because it also comes with its own high resolution satellite dish and fondu set. Okay so maybe its not quite the same but you get the picture.
As we sat through the first group of interviews, mainly corporate executives, managers and coordinators, I was amazed and shocked to find how out of touch they all were with their target audience. Oh, they knew I was there to find the best organisation to provide my husband with care for when he came home. But I found it hard to believe that they believed in what they were telling me. Its like when you’re sitting in your office and you are so swamped with emails, meetings, reports, spreadsheets and interviews. Then you get that email from some executive that sits in his big office chair, in his big uncluttered office, in his thousand dollar suit with his six figure salary demanding that you attend to some important business that needs to be completed by yesterday. Well, I felt like I was that email. Each one of them was going through their usual spiel, clearly said a hundred times before, all while answering their text messages then excusing themselves to take a phone call before I had a chance to ask any questions. I didn’t know what I was looking for in an organisation but I knew it was something more than what they were dishing out.
We then sat down with a lovely young woman from a company I had never heard of with the acronym ACARES. Before commencing our interview, the very first thing she asked was “Can you tell me a bit about Paul?” Fancy asking me about the very person we are all here for. We chatted over Paul’s care needs and then she explained how her organisation could cater to those needs. It was a simple and effective interview thanks to a twenty-something year old, personable young woman, definitely in the right industry, who was going places in her career. She had heart and enough intelligence to put her phone on silent for 30 minutes. I think you know how this story ends.
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