Recently I was thinking about the role of my carers and the pros and cons of their jobs and having spoken with them, the pros and cons weren’t necessarily the obvious ones.
There are some very obvious pros, for example going to the theatre with me, going on days out, going on holiday… All of these things are something I need assistance with and therefore a carer gets paid to go with me. When we aren’t out and about, we’re normally at home watching netflix or youtube and I choose what to watch based on who’s on shift with me. I’m great friends with my care team and that has to be a pro… at least I hope so!
When it comes to the cons, you might expect somebody to say emptying the commode, showering me or washing my period pants. You might think it’s hard having someone ask you to do something every few minutes or having to anticipate someone’s needs. To be a third wheel at times or having to go to things and places that you don’t want to.
But the reality is, having spoken to my carers, the things that they see as cons are dealing with spiders and coping with my nightmare neighbours. Starting work at 8.30 was also mentioned with the caveat that this would also be the case for most jobs so isn’t care specific! This morning I did not want to wake up, but I have to get up by a certain point to have my medication, and my carer hated having to interrupt my dreams. In a similar vein, it’s hard for them to see me anguish over asking for help on bad days for things I can cope with on better days, and watching me suffer with pain when there’s nothing else that can be done.
Essentially, the harder bits of my care are because my team are empathetic, kind and caring people who find it hard to see another person suffering.
Of course, this isn’t the reality for many carers who are overworked, underpaid and expected to see numerous clients in one day. I am lucky in that I have a small care team who work with one or two clients and so we are able to build that relationship which is important.