How to be a carer

If you follow me on twitter or know me in real life, you have probably heard me whine about my carers.  Don’t get me wrong, I have some great ones. But I also have some awful ones.  The following are from real life and unfortunately mostly one carer who, despite me repeatedly trying to get her removed, is still on my team.

How to be a carer

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

“Can I have some coffee in my flask?” Just add coffee powder and put the lid on the flask.  Job done. That’s all that was asked for.

When the client gives detailed instructions about how to heat up a wheat pack, follow them, but don’t remove from microwave, instructions didn’t include that.  When the client asks where the wheat pack is, act surprised, she didn’t ask for it to be removed and given to her.

Client: “Can you get me out a new toilet roll?”
Carer: “Yes, would you like it in the kitchen?”

Splash water on the client when supporting them to clean their teeth – they struggle to get washed so every little helps.

Mash oven chips – it makes them easier to eat.  So what if the client didn’t ask for it, you’re using your initiative.

Don’t follow instructions despite parroting them back to the client. Your way is the right way.

Let yourself in 45 mins early, wake up client, then fire questions at them and don’t give them chance to wake up.  With any luck they’ll be so disorientated that they’ll tell you to leave early.

Practically run out the door after the care call, even better, leave half way through.  Your time is precious after all.

Despite frequent requests, do not core apples and pears, the client will enjoy them regardless.

Include grapes covered in a white fluffy mould in their pack up, no point in wasting anything!

When you go shopping, leave the client in a corner in their wheelchair, run round the shop and then declare there is nothing in the shop for them. You know best.

Tell the client how grateful you are that you’re healthy. This will help them feel better about themselves, after all, they are making you feel grateful.

Talk about other clients, you’re just trying to make everyone feel connected and less isolated. Confidentiality is overrated.

Stay around after the client has said you can go, they are obviously lonely and need your company.

If you need to write down the client’s rota, just doing half of it is fine, they don’t need to know it all.

When it comes to meds – repeat back what the client says, then do something different. She’s taking so many that it doesn’t really matter.

Nb. This isn’t a comprehensive guide, you will need to use your intuition but never forget the golden rule: Assume the client is stupid. They need care and you provide care, therefore you are better than them.