For Carers Week, carer development worker, Chris Monaghan, has written a poem imagining the hopes, needs and frustrations of what a carer experiences every day, every week, every year.
Making Carers Visible
You wouldn’t recognise them in a crowd.
They don’t really stand out.
They don’t wear a uniform, or a badge or even a medal.
They blend in with the crowd of what is seen as normal life.
Ahh, the irony is that often they’re not even in the crowd…
What is normal for them is actually heroic, selfless, admirable and very hard work.
Taking on the responsibility of another person’s body, mind — who themselves cannot manage.
And it’s a tall order, not always perfect, often frustrating,
Frequently demanding, constantly relentless.
Often without thanks from the person….
Or recognition in society. No one knows.
It’s a routine of being mentally alert, physically ready to act
In any given situation.
Without training or diplomas. Just basic instinct.
On call. If they stop another person’s world would stop…
But they will say, “It’s just what I do.” “I don’t know any different”
And they keep on going on…
Such is their success — is ‘success’ the right word? Of course it is.
Such is their success, those who are close think they know…
But do they really know the heart of it?
The difficult days — situations — lack of time — changing of yet another soiled pad — reluctance to get in the shower — the confusion — arguments — disturbed long nights — who am I?
What it is that a person who is not able, might bring to another. Needs. Demands.
The response is to provide: comfort, dignity, care, love –
Again and again, more repetition. Not always without frustration.
Sometimes a little oasis of peace, demand is on hold while there is unusual content — for a moment or so.
Or “Calms down when there’s visitors.”
Caring dramas can seem less so in the re-telling. You had to be there.
No-one really knows. But they know.
Liverpool Carers Centre, run by Local Solutions, is commissioned by Liverpool City Council to provide support and assessments to the city’s carers. To arrange a carers assessment please visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/carersassessment