One young care worker exposed the harsh realities of her job, revealing the rewarding tasks she carries out on a day-to-day basis in a bid to improve the quality of her patient’s lives, as she says “naivety” means people assume that all she does is wipe bums for a living.
Beth Sturgis, from Plymouth, UK, posted the brutally honest and eye-opening letter on Facebook, after becoming fed up with naive people assuming that carers are nothing more than “glorified ass wipers”.
“Yes I wipe asses, yes I deal with stuff that not everyone would want to but that is not all I do,” the 24-year-old said. “Today I helped a man that has lived through the war wash and dress because old age has now hit him and he is unable to walk or do these things for himself.
“Today I helped a lady who this time last year was living her life normally to complete her normal daily tasks because she is now living her life with a cruel disease that has taken over her body and left her unable to do these things for herself and has confined her to a wheelchair.
“Today I administered medication to a lady living life with Alzheimer’s, medication that she doesn’t even know why she’s taking it, medication that I know and that she knows will not prevent the inevitable. Today I saw the fear in her eyes.
“Today I was a cleaner, a cook, a hand to hold, a friendly face, a washer, a dresser, a helper, a CARER; today I was human.”
Her moving post has been shared almost 10,000 times since it was posted on August 10 and has received more than 2,600 comments from people offering their support and messages of thanks to the young professional, with many fellow carers also sharing stories of their own experiences.
“I love being a care worker, am writing this comment while I work,” one woman commented. “Sitting with a client with Alzheimer’s, doesn’t know if its day or night. Holding his hand hoping he will fall asleep for a while! Watching this horrible disease take him it’s devastating. And the impact it has on the family. But I am here and we will get through the night with a bit of laughter and hopefully some sleep… To all the care workers, you do amazing work!”
Another said: “We don’t call our carers, carers we call them support workers, because that’s what you do, you support people to enable them to live their lives rather than existing.”
Sturgis went on to say that, while she receives a pittance for her gruelling job, she wouldn’t choose any other line of work, adding that she thrives on the satisfaction she gets from putting a smile on someone’s face and helping patients to live independently.
“No my job is not easy,” she continued. “There are days I come home and cry because of things I have to deal with, things that I cannot control and things that I cannot wave a magic wand and cure, and believe me I have a lot of those moments where I pray I could. I have hard days but I also have amazing days. I do this job because I CARE.
“So yes I may wipe asses, but that is not all I do. I am proud to be a carer and to work in this industry. So next time you think that that is all a being a care worker means please think again. No I do not save lives, but I sure as hell make them easier for someone to live. To all you carers out there, I salute you.”
More older Aussies are now living independently at home for longer, according to new data, as the Federal government announced on Friday that almost 78,000 older Australians were supported by Commonwealth home-care packages to remain in their own homes over the past year.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said: “More older Australians than ever before are being supported to stay in their own home for longer. As our population ages, we are seeing demand for support increasing every year. That is why in this year’s Budget we committed to a record $5 billion aged care boost, including $1.6 billion for additional high-level home care packages.”