A Lincolnshire care worker has shared a list of 50 important things that carers do for vulnerable people to prove that care work is far from “low skilled”.
Helen Starsmore, who works for Boston-based Walnut Care at Home, drew up the list in response to the Lincolnshire Care Association’s #CaringIsASkill campaign on social media, which calls on carers to share how they have improved the lives of others.
The campaign was launched after the government was accused of categorising care workers as “low skilled” under its new immigration proposals.
Responding to the campaign in a Facebook post, Starsmore said: “People say care workers don’t deserve more than minimum wage because they ‘only sit around and make cups of tea for people?!’ I can give you a list off the top of my head of all the things care workers do, and I can bet it’s not even half of it.”
The care worker then listed 50 important tasks that care workers undertake every day to help their service users to maintain their dignity and live life to its fullest.
Read the full post here.
Responsibilities included everything from helping service users to shower, shave and brush their teeth, to administering medication and providing emotional support.
“Sometimes, we’re the only people they see all day,” she explained.
Starsmore went on to say that care work can involve a life or death situation, as care workers “answer emergency response calls, battle with doctors when service users need to be checked over, and act fast when someone shows symptoms of a stroke, heart attack, fits and various other conditions”.
And although care work can be very fulfilling, it isn’t always easy, she said, calling attention to the less joyful elements of the job, such as “remaining calm and professional when [clients] are hurling verbal, and sometimes physical, abuse at you.”
She said: “We don’t complain. Our job is hard. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we’re reduced to tears. We know we deserve so much more, but we still do it anyway. Because we are care workers, and we genuinely do care.”