What happens when a service that’s meant to keep you safe in your home massively let’s you down in ways that leaves you feeling scared to enter your own home!
I have so many emotions to process anger, disappointment, frustrated, violated, lied too, scared my list is endless and I don’t know how to stop the feeling that the one place I truly feel safe ‘my home’ has been taken away by one persons actions.
As a disabled person safety is a huge deal ‘as I’m sure it is for everyone, not just for myself but for my husband and family for the last 10+ years I’ve had a Telecare or commonly known as community alarm system fitted in my house so if anything happens – it’s just a push button way on a pendant you can wear around your neck or wrist that’s connected to to a base unit with a microphone that connects to a control center.
Back in July my social worker thought it would be good for Milton Keynes community alarm to do a home visit to look at other bits of equipment they provide.
I had two new items fitted one of which was explaned as a heat sensor and would only ever send an alert when temperatures where reach over 49 degrees (so basically if my house was on fire)
So how have Milton Keynes Community Alarm and Telecare Services failed me!
I must stress even though Milton Keynes community alarm have the key safe number I have never given them permission to enter my house unless they have been told or given permission by myself, husband or a family member.
On the 19th October on our way back from the airport around 3am we watched our hive camera footage of someone entered our home at 23.38pm made no announcement of who they where just a knock on the living door and walked in.
Watching the footage it felt like my heart fell into my stomach that instant sick feeling, the overwhelming feeling of Fear someone had been in my home, it’s everyone’s worse nightmare come true watching someone candidly walking around your home with no care.
Everything runs though your mind at once had we been broken into, how did they get in, do we know them, is everything still there, am I even safe to enter my own home.
Fear had set in I was petrified of what we might find or who when we got home, fearing the unknown I got one of our friends called the police and ask for someone to met us, we arrived before the police so my husband entered our house shortly after the Police arrived.
The police checked everything out spoke to my husband and our friends then around 30 minutes late left not before telling us to ask our neighbours if they had seen or if our front door was left open.
It wasn’t until around 4.45 am that we found out that it was the community alarm service – it was confirmed rudely with ‘well you never told us you was going on holiday’
Fear had now turned into anger, I can’t explain the anger I felt this is my home my safety net. I’m not sure what’s worse the feeling for not knowing who it was or the now knowing that we trusted these people and they had overstepped their boundaries massively.
What happened next
After meeting with the community alarm service manager she took on board that I wanted answers why was I lied to about what the Equipment did, why did someone enter my home even after strict instructions never to, do they understand I can never trust them again, do they understand the impact this has had in me.
Plus this was clearly not the first time this had happened there was no way I was the unlucky one, I made it very clear that dealing with vulnerable people and as a manager she need to do her Research into how many others this had happened to, how many people didn’t know what telecare Equipment did that had been placed in their homes, had they been given false/wrong information.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received a letter from the telecare manager everything we had discussed she had done, so offen you can feel like your complaint falls on deaf ears, this time it didn’t.
What did it uncover that there was failings within the system that need some serious addressing. Re-training among other things, but it was being addressed and dealt with in the correct way.
They will never be able to take back what happened plus the feelings it’s left me with but glad in away that, what happened to me raised awareness to telecare and remind them that they are dealing with vulnerable people with many different reasons for having the Equipment they provide.
My hope for the future is that it never happens to anyone else that lessons have been learnt.