Working with the elderly is somewhat of a challenge both mentally and physically, you could almost class it as manual labour!
The miles you walk in the care homes, the bending, the moving, the washing, the toileting the feeding, the laughing, the crying, the consoling, the arguing, the loving and the dying.
I chose this career as I have always been a mother hen and started my career at 17 years of age, and cannot see me doing anything else, unless of course I get a lucky break and fulfil my dream of becoming a published writer of course. And unless my Arthritis wins the battle with my body.
Full moon I kid you not turns the old dears into insanely strong, will full, Un co-operative monsters! There is no reasoning with them, they say its blue when it's red, they say it's time to get up when it's 2am; my tip is just go with it, let them win because you sure as hell won't!
Then there is another side that people forget about the elderly generation. They once played as children, they once fell in love, got married had children. They came through the hardest times that have been to date. You wouldn't get today's families surviving on powdered egg and milk!
When I look into their eyes I see a story that needs to be told, an existence that should be acknowledged a wisdom that is far greater than our own. I see the vulnerability, the loneliness, the need for companionship and just 5 minutes of your time to tell that story again.
It makes you stop and think about your own mortality, your life, your achievements, regrets and also your future. What will we do to make our lives worthy of talking about when we are elderly to our younger generations?
My view on this at this present time is how people have rather than evolved, regressed to animals.
We fight, we hate, we disrespect, we push and shove, we rush, we are greedy for more, we don't help but put down, we don't share we take. Is this what civilisation has taught us? It really is becoming a world of 'dog eat dog'.
Look back at when our elderly generation were young. People helped each other, communities pulled together, generations lived together, kid's actually played out! People pulled together and genuinely tried to help. Not these days, it's each to their own, neighbours hardly speak none of this baking cakes for the newcomers in the street.
It saddens me to see this disappointment in their tired eyes, the sorrow that the human race is ruining the world and itself.
The carers famous spoken line 'I won't be a minute!'
That minute can be a literal minute or a very long minute. You get called away, you deal with lots of tasks at once yes, that famous minute is promised by all at some point.
When that minute actually comes round you spend every second of your time with that individual making them feel safe, clean, loved, important and special. You listen to that story again, you honour their dignity with the uppermost respect you listen to what they want and you give your heart to that one person for however long it takes to meet their needs.
It's not an easy job I will admit but It's rewarding, satisfying, humbling and an honour to care for these pillars of community and all life.
They are some body's someone, they are the families glue, they are caring parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.
Yes even the ones who moan on the bus, in the shop, take far too long counting their change at the front of a very long line, walk zigzag in front of you in a busy shopping centre, demand respect when they don't give it (hey they have earned a lifetime of credit for the odd push in and bad manners!) and expect everyone else to move out of the way all of the time.
Take time to listen to them, you could be the only person they speak to all day, all week, you may be the last person they speak to!
Take time to smile next time you see an elderly someone in the street and remember they were once like you and they would give anything to run for that train or bus, to wear heels again, to dance again, to hold a lovers hand again.
This will be you one day feeling vulnerable, weak and Un-noticed. It costs nothing to smile and say hello, to help with the change, to restore their faith in human kindness does it?
Remember ,ring Nana or Grandad! It's well overdue you will make their day.
Thanks for reading.