Does Material Wealth Bring Joy? A Carer’s Observation.

In the business of live-in aged care work, we not only respond to the physical and mental ill-health conditions of clients. There is more. Yes, we have a job to do. We are also there to be responsive, a constant and loving presence.

We get to observe and witness first-hand the extent in which people have been affected by lives lived. We find, regardless of income level, affluence, class, or prestige, that no one is spared the likelihood of chronic ill-health, progressive illness, sudden accident that brings them to a stop, often dramatically affecting the quality of their lives for many years or until death calls them.  

As carers, we do not judge, simply observe people aged fifty to almost one hundred with every material comfort and masses of accumulated wealth, but rarely joy in their hearts.  Families may or may not be close by. Often clients are left with the relationship, however built, with themselves. 

Our purpose is to walk alongside and support them in the most simplest of ways. We may be asked to brush their hair and teeth, cut toe and fingernails, support them to shower or shave, drive, cook or walk with them. Sometimes we are their PA’s. We offer love, unattached and unemotional, companionship, friendship. 

The stop of an illness or accident presents an offering to re-assess their lives, rehabilitate, and restore, should they choose to.  Some, when health returns and if young enough, want to get back on the horse that brought them down in the first place. Others fight and, resisting the treasure hidden in the fall, languish in misery. There are also those who see the stop as an opportunity for repose and simply accept that. They surrender to their body and re-adjust to the new.

In the homes of the wealthy, we get to observe that true wealth is not financial.

Our purpose is to be a constant or occasional presence, living and working alongside them accepting choices made that led them to where they are now. Without perfection, we respond and through our movements, consistently loving, expect nothing in return.

There is an offer of richness in relationships – love, truth, harmony, tenderness, stillness and joy in all that we bring as carers. A client’s response is up to them. As carers, we cannot impose, be invested in or have expectations of how a client will respond. We simply attend, observe and respond to what is received in each moment.

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