Eighteen long years I have worked in care, I gained many many qualifications, spent hours training to be the best I could possibly be in my sector.
I would wash and dress the elderly, I would sit with them and brush their hair, paint their nails and listen to all the stories from their past, I genuinely cared about every single person I was employed to look after.
Many a times I held the hand of someone I had loved as they took their last breath, I sang to them, stroked their hair and sobbed when they passed on, I attended their funeral and stood with “family” members who never or rarely visited their mum/dad as they cried their crocodile tears, with only the thought of their will in their minds.
I cleaned out their room as management arranged for the next “body” to move in, the next pay cheque.
I dished up the Tesco value food on to their plate, and watched the owner drive home early in their brand new car, I brought in shampoo and soap for the lady who had nothing.
Working in care broke me, whilst I loved the people I cared for, I constantly felt I was being rushed by seniors or management, I was given names of residents to get up, whether they were sleeping or not, I wasn’t allowed to spend quality time talking to them, or making them feel loved, it was all about getting people up and dressed as quick as possible.
Compassion was missing, Love was lacking, from the people earning the most out of these wonderful people’s lives.
Every day I would go home wondering if someone would be ok, would they still be alive by my next shift, I received a disciplinary for taking too long to bathe someone and when I was told to hurry up “I had spoken rudely to a senior”, that was the last straw for me, how can you bathe a 87-year-old woman in 5 minutes, that’s not a bath, that’s cruel!
I quit!!! I can’t do it!!!
I got a job in KFC actually earn more money (not that you get into care for the cash) I am less stressed, my day offs I don’t think about the chickens, I still think about the people I cared for but I had to think about me, something needs to change in care homes and put the residents needs and wants first, management shouldn’t see them as a cash flow, I understand they need to make money but not so much that the elderly are suffering. The care sector needs to wake up and realise they are pushing good people out of the industry!