Flexibility in Care Policy Can Be the Norm

by | Caregiving

Breaking care policy is not an exception, but an accommodation

A sales associate for elimination supplies scolded me for not being better organized. She was upset I was calling last minute to reorder supplies we required the same week. I should write it in my calendar, she suggested.⠀

Embarrassed, I explained what happened, apologized profusely, and offered to pick up the supplies myself. She sighed heavily, and reprimanded me—allowing “an exception this time.”⠀

When I tried to change our delivery details due to Covid restrictions, she begrudgingly explained that it cannot be undone and exceptions cannot be made for us alone.⠀

On another occasion, when I had to change the delivery date due to work in our building, I was greeted with bitterness. If she made exceptions for us, she would have to do so for everyone else.⠀

After years of anxious calls to this company, I finally saw the authoritative responses for what they are. And, I finally stood up for our family, for my son, and for others who rely on this system.⠀

This company, that services disabled and elderly individuals, did not understand their clientele.⠀

If “making exceptions” is standard for an organization, breaking policy can no longer be viewed as exceptions but as accommodations instead.⠀

Flexibility in care policy can be the norm⠀

We all deserve to be serviced with dignity and not as burdensome troublemakers. There’s a difference between entitlement and human rights.⠀

Rigidity in policy has silenced disabled/chronically ill individuals for decades. The belittling, patronizing, gaslighting, and intimidation from those who uphold policy are damaging.⠀

I have met unyielding regulations from schools, rehabilitation centers, medical institutions, and businesses.⠀

When policy-makers shut down the folks they serve, they reinforce discriminatory practices that harm marginalized communities. Frontline workers in an organization have the responsibility to speak up to their superiors and advocate for the people they serve.⠀

We all have an obligation to speak up. How will you?⠀


Quality care is a human right, and we must demand it.


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