Working in the care sector: Who’d do it?

CV Writers looks into working in the care sector.

Like most, CV Writers is shocked by the findings of the Care Quality Commission report into the state of care for the elderly. Though not entirely surprised. It once seemed the care sector suffered from just about every direction you looked at it except one – the very reason most people are motivated to work in it: that is the satisfaction of making the lives of those within your care more comfortable. Now even this is under threat.

Firstly, there’s the image problem. The very personal nature of the job will put off some people. And rightly so. There is no point in doing this work if the sound of a loose bowel movement has you running to the garden pinching your nose. Yet the ‘physical’ side of caring is only one small part of it. The ability to listen, make conversation, reciprocate a natural smile; these things can have a hugely positive effect on the lives of those under their care.  Helping people to help themselves.  Surely these qualities are something to be admired about carers? Nurses have been able to lift the status of their profession – think prescribing nurses. The same, however, is not true for care workers. They still have the occupational status equivalent to a medieval muck collector.

And then there’s the pay. You may have thought that with a demanding role, and limited number of people able to do it well, we’d see wages going skywards. Unfortunately the sometimes perverse nature of economics means the opposite is true. The ability to bring a smile to an elderly person it seems has little monetary value. The sector is locked with a poor image and poor pay, compounded by other closely related professions moving away from it. And with record levels of unemployment and people desperate for any job – perhaps the wrong people are moving in. People without the essential ’empathy’ needed to be a good carer?

People in the UK also have a generally poor attitude to the elderly in general. From what I’ve seen in Europe and many other parts of the world, the elderly are respected and supported. Valued for their wisdom and experience. I think we could learn a lot. I mean, we all know that there are only two certainties in this world, and we’re already getting hammered for one of them.

So there seems to be a perfect storm circling ‘care for the elderly’ . Out of 100 hospital visit, 55 came in for criticism. This is simply too high. It’s a real shame as it also takes the focus away from those that are doing a really worthwhile and valuable job.

Surely it’s time for a radical re-think about caring? Carers should be rewarded with better pay and higher status through recognition of the important role they play within our society. Moreover, the elderly should be revered and their lives celebrated. This, is perhaps the most important change we need, and it’s something we can all do something about. So next time you see a confused elderly driver stop in front of you. Don’t get angry, get empathy. Helping them find their way might not just make their day – it could make yours too.

CV Writers welcomes your thoughts?






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