So, I’ve been a carer for a couple of weeks now and there are bits of it I love and bits I don’t like so much but overall I’m happy. It’s a very rewarding thing to do.
So different to working in an office, which is what I used to do.
It is physically very demanding. You are on your feet all day but it’s not just the walking around that is tiring, it’s all the bending – every time you get someone in a wheelchair you have to bend down to bring the foot rests around and help the person get their feet onto them. You are bending to help clean someone, either while giving them a shower or bath, or taking them to the toilet. By the end of a 12 hour shift, my back and feet are aching. I no longer suffer with trouble getting to sleep. I’m nearly asleep before my head hits the pillow – not quite, but nearly.
When you get a break, you sit down and think “oh I needed that”. I used to go for a cigarette or vape break at previous office jobs just to relieve the boredom, but there is no boredom in this job and you are grateful for the breaks when you get a chance to have them.
The time does go quite quickly, even though you are doing 12 hours, with less than an hour lunch, as opposed to the 8 hour day with an hour’s lunch.
The parts of the job I’m not so keen on doing is showering or bathing people. I’m just very new at it and am not as confident as I could be. One time I forgot to take the person’s clothes so had to take them back to their room in a thin dressing gown to get them changed. Now I remember to take everything I need.
I don’t really mind the toiletting side of things. I have wiped my children’s bums so many times that it doesn’t really bother me to do it to adults. Its the same stuff, just a different sized body.
The thing I LOVE about care work is connecting with these people who have lived such interesting lives. I love chatting to them about their lives. Some of them make me smile just in the way they say hello to me in the morning when I pop in to check on them. Some of them who were quite grumpy with me at first (because I’m new and also agency) have gotten to know me a bit and have softened.
I have heard some very interesting stories from some of these people. They have lived such interesting lives. I may share some of these stories in another post but I need to be sure I’m not going to be breaking confidentiality by doing so.
I never really felt valued in my office jobs. Some were better than others, but no matter how nice your boss, or how involved I was made to feel, the fact of the matter was that I was working so that some big bosses could make a decent amount of money and get bonuses. In this job, I really feel useful. I’m needed. These people need me.