I work for thirteen clients who have various serious disabilities. Acquired brain injury; motor vehicle accidents, stroke, Cerebral Palsy, chromosomal differences in all their variety. My job is to protect these Peoples rights, to ensure that their physical health, their emotional health (feel a sense of belonging and connection, feel cared about, feel loved, feel hope), their mental health and their hopes dreams and wishes are aiming towards their greatest potential. They decide what that greatest potential is.
And my job is to work with a group of people…some with fewer skills than mine, some with greater skills than mine… whose job it is to create strategies that could lead to making our clients dreams come true…despite any perceived limitations. And despite budgets and politics.
It’s a cool job! I care deeply for the clients I work for. After twenty-five years in Psychiatric Nursing I wasn’t sure how I’d adjust to working for folks with disabilities. But it’s the same. People with extra challenges in life who need others to ‘give a shit’. Or politely put…to care.
And now a related issue.
I read an article yesterday that despite Prime Minister Julia Gillard doing some seriously good work on policies for people with disabilities the author dedicated three quarters of the article raving on about the name of the program. Disability Care. Apparently the word CARE was the problen for various interprtive notions. Now we are being precious about the word care????
I like the word care. I do care and for me the word is a verb. It’s about doing. I care for my clients hence I do my best. I care for my life hence I do my best. I care for my son hence I do my best. I care for laughing hence I do my best. I care.
I don’t disempower. I’m not always nice. Truth sometimes isn’t. I only offer help…oh yes, another politically incorrect term apparently. Crock! I need help some times. And I certainly need care.
And I need kindness. Another unpopular term.
I like kindness. I like smiling at people and seeing a mix of confusion followed often by a big grin. I like making people smile. I like when someone says something kind to me. From someone I am intimate with to a total stranger. Perhaps I’m alone in that?
Son that is my Job.
PM Gillard, well done on Disabilities.
And people precious about the word Care.
Don’t worry about the word. Just do it!
We need care for all the time in between.