My Perfect Carer

Published December 6, 2013

A carer meets a disabled person’s care needs. A personal assistant (PA) provides the support that allows a disabled person to be independent. So, maybe, we could say that our parents are our carers, because they help us with our personal needs- washing, dressing, and things like that.

While a Learning Support Assistant could, these days, be thought of as a PA, because they provide support that allows disabled children to learn and participate in a classroom, as independently as possible.

Some disabled people have carers who are not family members. Sometimes PAs also help with personal care needs.

So, I was asked to tell you guys what my perfect carer would be like.

I’ve had quite a few people supporting me over the years. They’ve driven for me when my parents couldn’t. They’ve given me Learning Support. When I was younger, and needed help with getting dressed after a PE lesson, they did that too. So, today, you would call them carers.

So out of all these people, the ones I’ve always remembered, the ones I’ve really liked, were the ones who took the time to get to know me. Of course, they also knew exactly what I found difficult, exactly what I needed help with, and they gave me that help.

But what I liked about them was that they talked to me about things I found interesting. They showed me things they thought I would enjoy, and sometimes, they were right. They got to know me as a person, not just as a disabled person that they were helping. The carers I really liked never made me feel like I was just their job – even though I knew that I was their job.

That is the most important thing that I think a perfect carer can, and should, do.

These days, I don’t really need help with personal care outside my home, so my mum is my main carer. But, if I ever do need a PA to give me a lift anywhere, I still like them more when they get to know me, and talk to me about my life and my interests. I talk to them about theirs as well.

I also think that a person’s ‘perfect carer’ can change with age. One carer who knew me when I was very young is a lovely person, but I feel like she still thinks of me as a very young child. I’m not a very young child now and I don’t want to be treated like one! So as much as I liked her, I’m glad that she isn’t caring for me now the way she was.

That’s another thing. When carers left, I always felt as if I had lost something. I had to start all over again, giving them private details about what they needed to help me with. Private details about my life, about what I liked and what I didn’t like. That was never easy, even when I didn’t really like the carer as a person.

My perfect carer would know when to step in and help me, and when to accept that I didn’t need their help. I’ve never liked those who worried too much that I couldn’t do something, and helped me without letting me try to do things myself first.

So, I think I’ve covered everything here. Of course, everyone wants and needs different things from their carers, so everyone’s idea of a perfect carer is different.

What’s your perfect carer?

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