More than just a job
Cire in home carers sometimes find themselves in the role of providing comfort and dignity to clients as they reach their end of life. When a carer has had a client for a long period of time, the emotional bonds develop and often there is a sense of loss and grief for the carer when their client passes away.
Carol is employed by Cire In Home Care and she is just one of many carers who have experienced the loss of a client. The following is Carol’s story.
“One of my first long term clients with Cire In Home Care had high support needs. Due to his condition, his mobility and verbal communication were limited. It was a big job with lots to do and so I felt more than a little nervous during that first ‘shadow shift’ following another support worker around. I remember meeting my client, a couple of family members and learning the routine. I asked questions and took a lot of notes that day, knowing I would be working on my own for most of the time afterwards.”
“It didn’t take long before my confidence increased. Written lists became second nature over time; tasks seemed less daunting as little tricks and good time management were learnt.”
“Clients have a way of teaching you a lot about pretty much everything, including yourself – and like anyone you develop a bond with; there will be some deep experiences. When there is little in the way of verbal communication, small gestures take over. Intuition and other senses can seem heightened, sometimes there’s just an understanding and a knowing of what needs doing.”
“Being a support worker feels like intimate and soulful work, rewarding but also challenging. Nothing quite prepares for the physical and emotional demands of caring for someone as they approach their end of life. It can be very busy but there are times when you just have to stop and be there, to hold a hand or offer a hug.”
“When my client passed away, I appreciated my supervisors checking in on me and passing on an invitation to the funeral. They’ve been there; they know what it’s like to lose people. There are a lot of mixed feelings – sadness, yet relief there’s no suffering, concern for their loved ones. It also felt good to go to the service, offer my condolences and emotional support to the family. I loved seeing photos and hearing stories of the younger man I never met, shared interests he’d been unable to tell me about. It gave me a sense of closure to say goodbye and pay my respects to a lovely man and a life well lived.”
Carol is one of many carers employed by Cire In Home Care and we are very fortunate to have such caring and compassionate staff. If you would like to find out more about the services offered by Cire In Home Care visit our website or contact Cire In Home Care Co-coordinator, Deb Wright, on 1300 835 235.
If you work in the industry, care for a loved one or need to know more about end of life. The Eastern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium is pleased to announce that ticket sales are now open Death and Dying – lifting the lid on it with Anny and Shelley event. Places are limited, so early registration is recommended. It will be a fun and informative night. The event is open to the public and is relevant to everyone as we will all need to deal with these issues at some time in our lives.