“Today was one of the best days of my life”.
These were the words of Jane, a carer I spent the day with a few years back. It was the last thing I expected her to say because she’d been nervous about me spending the day watching her at work.
I was accompanying her on her visits to the disabled people she took care of, for a strengths-based recruitment project researching the strengths of great carers. Jane had been picked out as one of the best carers in the organisation.
I was blown away by her. It was obvious that she loved her job and was superb at it.
I asked her what had made the day one of the best days of her life. She told me it was because no-one had ever shown that much interest in her before. This struck me as very sad, and once we had finished developing the profile of a great carer I rang her and shared it with her. She modestly said that she hadn’t thought she was anything special before hearing the strengths I described – strengths that my colleagues and I had observed in Jane and others like her.
It seems wrong that care work is still deemed as ‘low skilled’ when it’s actually one of the most demanding and skilled jobs I could imagine.
A wonderful carer can make a huge difference to the lives of the people they support. To my mind, the care profession is a vocation to be valued and those who work in it are to be respected for what they bring.