“Oh it takes a special person to do that job, I could never do that. I don’t know how you do it!”
That’s exactly what I said to my friend when she was studying nursing and heading down the aged care pathway. I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t understand the field, the role or the people involved back then. Her response was something that stopped me in my tracks and changed my entire perception of aged care and care work in general: “Well it’s bringing dignity to people isn’t it, there’s nothing better than that”. And she was right.
That one sentence has always stayed with me and I was again reminded of it when I found myself working in the both the disability and aged care areas years later. It is something I remind myself of daily in order to strive for a better level of care, to never become complacent and has now also become my response to people.
I am finding more and more of my co-workers are coming in to aged care having left corporate careers in search of something more, just like I did, and we are definitely finding more. There really is nothing better than helping someone to, not only maintain independence, but to thrive and achieve. Granted my benchmarks have been reset but it really is the little things isn’t it?
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