Training course for carers

Jan Millward childhood photograph

Training course for carers

Gladys Smith. Aged 95.

This is an old lady

hunched up in her chair,

she's crippled with arthritis

she needs you now to care.

She's forgotten what her name is

she stares far into space,

Your job is now to help her

remember it's not a race.

Get down to her level

look into her eyes,

behind that blank expression

is a woman who is wise.

Take her hand to guide her

don't forget to smile,

ask her how she's feeling

let her take a while.

Talk about the weather,

chat about some flowers,

try to be the difference

in your working hours.

Do not try to rush her

make sure that she can hear,

if she learns to trust you

you'll take away her fear.

Don't make her decisions

give her lots of choice,

show her what you're doing

let her have a voice.

Learn to spot the signals

when she is feeling low,

the words are sometimes missing

but you must try to know.

She may not know you've helped her

when you go out the door,

but if you've made her happy

she'll still feel that for sure.

Learn about her hobbies,

ask about her past,

sometimes the oldest memories

are the ones that last.

You are not just a carer

to her you are a raft,

someone who she can cling to

who doesn't think she's daft.

Your job is a vocation

and you must do it right,

never lose your patience

never lose your sight.

Include her when you're talking

she is somebody's Mum,

treat her like your family

not someone deaf and dumb.

Never make a promise

that you might have to break,

like “back in just a minute”

this can cause so much heart ache.

And never ever think that

she is just old and grey

remember all of your actions

make a difference to each day.

©Jan Millward