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 But the scales are more often weighted the other way; residents are often withdrawn, anxious about the end of life, saddened and stressed by their increasing frailty and by the loss of their physical and mental competence.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.