How to be a carer, part three

If you’ve read the previous posts, or lessons, you might be aware that its important to keep in mind how much better you are than the client.  You are wiser, more intelligent, more able and just overall a much greater human being, after all, you contribute to society selflessly every day.

Golden rule: Assume the client is stupid. They need care and you provide care, therefore you are better than them.

Keeping that in mind, you must also be ready to step in with advice at every chance, preferably before being asked.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t know anything about the client’s condition and that you haven’t bothered to learn anything, you are the better human here so your advice should be taken as gospel.  This is especially true when treating symptoms and administering medication.  Whilst this might have been covered during training, you should forget everything you learnt.  Ideally, don’t pay attention to the training and if any of it does seep in, do your best to erase it.

If the client asks you to do something you don’t want to, just don’t do it.  It is that simple.  Don’t refuse, just make out that you have done it or don’t mention it again.  Related to this, what the client does that day should be dictated by you.  If you want to go out for coffee, that’s absolutely fine, just tell them over and over again that its the perfect day for a coffee or other activity that you want to do.

When the client is busy doing things, it’s best to either a) interrupt with pointless questions or b) sit and stare at them.  This is great because communication and spending time together are important in relationship building.

Expect the client to micromanage you.  This way you do the bare minimum work and if anything doesn’t get done, or doesn’t get done well enough, it’s not your fault, it’s the clients.

That said, you should use your initiative when it comes to things like medication.  Remember that golden rule… The client is stupid and they don’t know what medication they really need…

During showers, the priority is to keep yourself dry, don’t worry too much about actually washing the client.

Argue with everything the client says.  The sky is not blue, it’s shades of white and grey.  This is really good as it keeps the client’s mind sharp.

Tell the client that you don’t want to be a carer. It makes them feel extra special and really grateful that you’re doing it for them.

Follow these simple guidelines and you’re well on your way to becoming a fantastic carer.  All your friends and family will admire you for helping those less fortunate people and heap praise upon you for how you suffer for others.

2015 in blog posts

WordPress sent me an email with stats etc about how my blog has fared in 2015.  To be honest I wasn’t especially interested.  My hope is that by sharing my experiences and my words someone else will be helped.

This means that my top 5 blog posts of 2015 are somewhat different to WordPress’s.  Here are mine in no particular order:

  1. Travelling with EDS
  2. How to be a carer part 1 and part 2
  3. EDS Awareness month: An open letter
  4. Chronic Pain Cookbook (free to download)
  5. Do something small and do it most days

How To Be A Carer Part 2

Firstly, if you missed How To Be A Carer Part 1, or have forgotten the key teachings, you are advised to read that before proceeding.  Today’s lesson is focussing on communication; from the voice you use to the topics you talk about.

The voice you use

Baby talk to clients. No explanation needed here, it’s obvious right?!

Overshare

The client doesn’t really have much of a life so you need to share the intimate details of yours, for example if your cousin’s neighbour’s dog has eloped, that is prime material. Your client would never forgive you if you didn’t share the juicy details!

Note: oversharing can extend to financial matters including the details of various relatives bank accounts. It’s not showing off, just teaching the client about life.

Moan 

Moan all the time, particular loudly about the parts of the job you don’t like going for this client, they will stop asking you.  Even better, moan about another client asking you to do a particularly awful task and really emphasise how dreadful l it was and how awful it was that the client asked you to do it. You see, this way, the client will know never to consider asking you to do it for them.

When it comes to moaning, don’t feel you need to hold back there are no topics which are off limit. Managers pissing you off, rotas not going in your favour, other clients etc are all acceptable things to moan to this client about. After all, if they weren’t there you wouldn’t have to be either.  It’s really all their fault when it comes down to it.

How to avoid difficult or unpleasant tasks

In addition to moaning about tasks, for this client or any others, you’ve also got the ‘nervous breakdown’ and ‘I can’t do anything’ options to get you out of those tasks you just can’t be bothered with.

A couple of months in (not too early or it will be put down to nerves), in an outburst of emotion, declare to the client that they can’t understand what it’s like to be a carer, how scared you are of them and how hard it is for you. This display of unstable emotion will be enough to put them off any thoughts of criticising you and you can allude to it with a quavering lip or teary eye if they ask too much from you.  They won’t want to push you, they may even see you are suffering and get you to put your feet up with a cup of tea.

In the very early hours of your client carer relationship, tell them repeatedly that you’re really crap at cooking, washing hair, cleaning etc then they’ll be so concerned with crap results, they won’t ask you to do it.

Don’t forget about yourself

Make sure when it comes to conversation, it’s all about you – how hard this is on you, how wonderful your family are, doesn’t matter what the subject is, it’s your job to get it back to being about you.  It’s important to get things off your chest and let’s face it, it’s cheaper than counselling! It’s particularly pertinent that you do this with clients who have difficult lives.  All they have to think about is themselves until you provide some relief in the form of your own (so much better) life.

Finally..

It’s absolutely fine to pull faces behind the clients back, you’ve got to get the stress off your chest somehow!  Other non verbal communication such as arms crossed and scowling is also allowed.  After all, some of your clients might struggle with verbal communication – it’s all about equal opportunities.