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09 Dec 2021

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Care doesn’t need dressing-up

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

When the CT Blog was launched more than five years ago, the terms ‘person-centred care’, ‘skilled workforce’ and ‘values-based recruitment’ were already well-established in the social care lexicon. It is as if were we are collectively embarrassed by ‘care’ in its naked simplicity and have sought to find new terms to legitimise it in the eyes of others.

Care workers, the people who actually spend their working time in the company of those they care for, earn more than they are paid not because they are highly skilled or because they said the right things at the job interview, but because they commit to forging genuine human relationships with those they are caring for. They don’t ‘go the extra mile’ – they simply don’t measure the distance in the first place.

This involves an emotional investment beyond that already committed to one’s family and friends, and just as our relationships with family and friends bring huge rewards, this can also be the case with our relationships with residents. But the scales are more often weighted the other way; residents are often withdrawn, anxious about the end of life, saddened and stressed by their increasing frailty and by the loss of their physical and mental competence.

Only people with deep reserves of empathy, emotional resilience and uncompromising humanity can do this work as it must be done and then go home at the end of a long shift and give the same sort of support to their friends and family.

Of course care workers have skills; interpersonal, managerial and practical but it is those who have been proven in the crucible of care who truly warrant more reward and recognition. Jargon is an unhelpful distraction, care is all there is.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

4 Replies to “Care doesn’t need dressing-up”

  1. I quite agree and I’ve been saying so for many years. Social care is in the hands of people who know very little of its realities. Get rid of the lot of them, I say! Put them to work – the real work – and see how long they’d last. We waste £millions on them and it could be redistributed amongst the people who do the real work, and we wouldn’t have to tolerate all this patronising, irrelevant rubbish. That’s saying it!

  2. Dear me, John, do try to introduce a little variation. As it stands, it’s yawn, yawn, yawn; boring, boring, boring. The mixture as before: all heat and not a glimmer of light. Clearly, we’re all doomed. Your world view brings to mind the old soldier’s lament: roll on death, demob’s too far away!

  3. Just exasperation, Bob. I read that the former CEO of CQC is now Chair of HC1. Does that seem right to you? What Private Eye refers to as “revolving doors”. The current top-down, snouts in trough, model of Social Care doesn’t work. Most of my writing is very upbeat and encouraging; you just don’t read it!

  4. Too busy building up my hoard of medication in an attempt to survive the dog’s dinner that the clowns in Westminster are cooking up for us.

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