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Posts Tagged ‘living other people’s lives’

I was putting out the recycling boxes at my current client’s house this evening when the thought crossed my mind that I live other people’s lives, albeit briefly.

Due to the nature of my job, I live approximately 2 to 3 weeks of every month living in as a carer in other people’s homes.

I arrive at their home, a complete stranger to them, and they to me. I arrive with a suitcase, my computer and a few items of food that I enjoy. I’m shown to a spare room, the contents of which vary greatly…sometimes the room is sparsely furnished, other times it’s so full of stuff I can hardly move. I either have a single bed or a double, more often the former. Sometimes there’s space for me to hang up my clothes, more often I live out my suitcase.

After a brief handover I spend a few hours, like a voyeur opening cupboards and poking around to see where things are. I learn about their likes and dislikes, what food they enjoy and whether or not they have a good appetite. I memorise their routines, and every home is completely different. I cater to their every whim regardless of whether I feel like it or not. Its what I’m paid to do.

I put out their bins, bring in the mail and most often, answer the phone. I cook – 3 meals a day, clean their rooms and make their beds, do laundry and occasionally ironing, I do their shopping and administer their medications. I help them dress and undress, change their clothes, bath or shower or strip-wash. I sometimes clean bottoms and privates, clean them up and change pads. I ensure they’re safe and comfortable with good food and secure environment. I take them to appointments with doctors or hairdressers and drive them places….

and its very seldom that any of my desires, needs or wants are met. I put myself aside for the duration of my stay, the only respite being my 2 hour daily break.

I don’t have my own life. I don’t have a home. I don’t have my own bed – although I do have a mattress, except for a short period when I lived with my daughter and her husband, its still in storage 4 years after shipping it to the UK.

I don’t have my own space to go home to after each assignment, a place where I can live my life. I either stay at a B&B or in the past year I’ve occasionally slept on my daughter’s couch.

I only really live my own life when I’m on my walks.

I’m always between one place or another living in other people’s lives.

It’s a weird reality…..

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