About Crip Care
I spent a lot of time in hospitals. I was admitted for weeks and months at a time. Cumulatively I spent more than two years of my life as an in-patient in hospitals, not counting the times at clinics, for tests or in emergency wards. Something that I noticed was the difference between when you had “your people”, versus the people who had no one visiting or calling to see how they are doing. I have spent time as each of these and I have witnessed and experienced the way it impacts the level of care you received.
It’s not that hospitals are safe places if you have “your people”, but they become even less safe without them. Whether it’s conscious and deliberate acts of discrimination, abuse, neglect or violence, or more commonly, cutting corners with your care, being on the losing end of staffing shortages, exhaustion and limited and bad choices, not having people removes the last defence of concern about being held accountable for their decisions.
One of the things I noticed was that people who had people often had a blanket on their bed that came from home, not the hospital. It was like a flag that announced they mattered to someone and also a hug for the person underneath the blanket.
This became the impetus for Crip Care. It doesn’t eliminate the danger but it creates another layer of protection.
Then it evolved to delivering baskets to disabled people in hospitals. It is just a beginning and not much has been done yet but we’ve started to build a Crip Care Closet of gifts. Blankets are a big part of this and the hope is at some point to have other people knitting, crocheting or quilting some.
It is also about being on the other end of a chat as needed - and providing information or advocacy help as requested.
Soon this space will include a Crip Care Kit so you can start one wherever you live. Disabled people in any institution are at risk. My dream is some day we will have Crip Care for prisons and Long Term Care institutions.
So that has been my idea. But nothing happened until other people helped make it happen, like this website. Ideas to action require us coming together. I have been fortunate that some have been willing to do so.
Lisa shopped for items and delivered baskets to the hospital on her bike. Catherine knitted hats. Q made jam. Various people have contributed to the cost of buying blankets and water bottles and other things. So now Crip Care is no longer my idea, it is no longer mine. Crip Care is not a company, it’s not a registered non-profit, it’s just a thing crips do to care for other crips.
- Gabrielle Peters