Usually people only keep the job for one year. Either it’s a calling or you quit. The pay is not good. And it’s very physical. I’m supposed to dress, shower, and feed twelve seniors in 2.5 hours. Funny Bear Pocket T-Shirt. The schedule is so tight because it’s a business. It can seem like the residents are boxes to be moved around. But they’re not boxes. They’re people. I don’t think their families think about them. They put them in a home and assume they’re safe, and well fed, and taken care of. But they’re all sad. They’re numb. Every day is the same thing. When I first started working there, they wouldn’t really cooperate. They just let me grab them without any participation. But I’d always talk to them. Ask them questions. Joke with them.
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Then one morning I had a fight at home, and was in a bad mood, so I worked in silence. And all the seniors who had been so quiet began to ask me what was wrong. Funny Bear Pocket T-Shirt. That’s when I first realized how much they valued the attention I was giving them. It’s been fifteen years now. I have a lot of friends there. But I’m forty-three already. Recently I had surgery. I’m not sure how many more years I’ll be able to do it. But I try not to think about what will happen when I leave. Bad pay, heavy lifting, long hours, fragile clients… a hard, often thankless job. But whether you call it “God” or “Universe” or “Spirit,” elder-care workers look squarely at the cold, hard, tough-loving TRUTH of what it means to be alive.