I have two clients at the moment…one I am required to go to his home and pick him up. The home is pristine and beautifully kept, the mother is an amazing cook providing healthy meals and she looks after her son with much love and care.

Then a couple of weeks ago I started working with a second client… a young woman.  The first morning I arrived to assist this young woman to get ready for school was like nothing I have experienced in all my years of care/support work.

It is impossible to describe the total disregard and lack of any care, not only of the house, but also of my client and her siblings except to say that the dirtiness and chaos of the house was compounded by the addition of three large dogs roaming freely. There were no supplies for me to use, except for a few baby wipes to assist an incontinent young woman to get ready for school…her clothes were in a jumbled pile on her bedroom floor and one of her shoes had been chewed by one of the dogs. The shower was broken, and the only towels were wet and lying on the bathroom floor.  I was also asked to get her breakfast and to make her lunch. There was no food in the house except for a jar of vegemite and the two crusts from a loaf of bread, one piece of flatbread and an apple. After my client left for school, I was asked to sweep the floor, clean the kitchen, and put some washing on…the laundry was the same as the rest of the house…piles of dirty clothes all over the floor.

 As I drove heading to my next client, who was the young man I spoke of in the beginning, whose home and care is immaculate, I could not escape the juxtaposition of the two homes I was working in.

This is what came to me on my drive…to be able to enter each home in total equanimity, no comparisons, absolutely no judgment, no sympathy, and to graciously do what is asked of me and not to overstep the mark in wanting to improve the situation or to ‘get in there and clean it up’.

This understanding has been truly invaluable to me in my ongoing work as a carer, as I now enjoy each and every situation no matter how different the circumstances. I enter each home without expectation, whilst watching for any signs of any judgement knowing I am there to not only support my clients and their families but also to bring my best self, not allowing my opinions, thoughts, and personal ideals to encroach on the way I support and interact with my clients and their families. With that I now know on a deeper level, that it is for me to hold everyone and every situation equally.

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