Without proper regulation, and often working alone, care workers receive neither the training or support they need. The people who look after our loved ones deserved betterby James Oddy / March 12, 2018 / Leave a comment
The inclement weather of the last few weeks has proven disastrous for many people. Yet it’s also provided us with a reminder of the inherent good of people. Images of NHS professionals sleeping over in wards and trekking for miles on end to cover shifts provided the perfect example of the natural instinct to come together as a community to help each other out.
It’s quite right that doctors, nurses and occupational therapists—and every other healthcare professional—have been lionised in such a fashion by the media.
But the weather also shone a light on one the plight of one of most neglected of work forces in a similar field: that of the care worker. Tragically, a Scottish care worker was found dead whilst making visits one morning.
There was also many local stories and anecdotal talk of care workers being stranded in cars whilst making hazardous journeys, others walking huge distances, terrified of missing visits.
Care work is an elastic term, which may explain why it’s rarely discussed much. A “care worker” may mean someone who helps the elderly who still live in their own home. A care worker could be supporting people suffering from mental illness as they make a recovery. Care work could entail working in a children’s home. Or it could involve working with individuals with severe learning difficulties.
I have done the latter off and on since I was a university student. It is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in any aspect of my life. It’s a unique job, so far removed from the more conventional 9-5 people find it hard to comprehend. I’ve taken service users to football games. I’ve helped them get dressed. I’ve taken them for pub lunches. I’ve dispensed their medication. I’ve taken them to church, to family members wedding and christenings. I’ve changed countless numbers of dirty pads and emptied countless catheters.
I was there for them, for whatever they needed help with, and I was always happy to do it. I still bump into people I cared for years ago, and I am still sincerely interested in what they now get up to.
Nobody entering into care work expects…