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Diary of a Care Home Worker

Blog from a Deputy Care Home Manager

Just another Tuesday, or so I thought. Planning my day as I head to work: hairdressers  are coming in, I need to catch up with the well being team, check the training schedule, shift cover for the next week and Heads of Department meeting, if I have time I will squeeze in the medication audit, something less for tomorrow.

Busy, busy, busy. But what you forget is all the other things you might do in your day in between, these are the things that make the job worthwhile, no matter if it brings out your emotion in a happy way or emotional way, but it certainly makes you reflect on life and making a difference.

I entered the kitchenette about 10.30 to grab a coffee and Resident A was in there getting her glass of milk.  She had the news the previous week that her son had died suddenly and in all honesty, everyone was walking on egg shells around her, as they didn’t know what to say. She was a very private lady and only opened up about personal things if she knew and trusted you.

In passing I said “good morning are you ok”, to which she replied “not really, my boy died last week and I will never see him again”. For that split second I froze, not knowing what to say or do, if that was my friend I would give them a hug, Lady A has never really shown emotion.  Did she want a hug, or would she feel uncomfortable? I stood there and thought, then said “would you like to talk about it”. She looked at me and nodded yes.

I asked her, if she wanted to talk in her room, so we could have privacy. We were chatting for around 20 minutes. She told me how the police came and broke the news to her and the details of his findings.

I showed compassion and held her hand. She then went onto talk about him as a child, her family life, holidays and showed me pictures of them all, in the years gone by. We finished the chat, by me saying I am here anytime and if she just needs someone to talk to, I’m always here. 

My emotions were zapped, she has lived at the home for over 4 years and never have I had such a touching, connecting conversation with this lady. This made me rethink and realise, how we take everyday “care” for granted, as a worker. Planning our day, going home, days off with our family, but this is their reality and hopefully the trust she gave me, to share her most intimate thoughts, is something I can take away, learn and reflect on, to ensure that I take the time out, to just ask the people living in our home “are you ok, do you want to talk about it”.