Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Why Being a Carer is the Best Job

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Austerity and government cuts on public expenditure in recent years has placed critical strains on the NHS and our social welfare system, where adequate care is increasingly difficult to access. Private institutions and charities are stepping in to compensate for the lack of available, sufficient care, which affects the voiceless and weaker members of our society the most. Our growing senior generation are particularly vulnerable, where compassionate and attentive carers are needed more than ever.

Luke Addison is 25 years old and has spent most of his professional life in caring roles. He explains his reasons for choosing this particular career path: “Everyone’s trying to be a millionaire, have the best business, be a social entrepreneur or even a famous celebrity or musician. You forget that actually there are jobs that really need real people. These jobs are so rewarding and would benefit people so much more. All you need is a job where you are treated as an equal and gives you some satisfaction.” He stresses the importance of the contribution of young people, “Young people should get into this a lot more, just to go and work with old people to see the impact, the benefit they can have.”

When we asked Maria Milagros, a carer at Guardian Carers, what her favourite part of her job was she said, “I love coming into work and seeing people smiling. I look forward to seeing them everyday, hoping they have slept well and nothing has happened during the night.” One of the hardest aspects of the a caring role is the inevitable losses that incur while working with elderly people. Maria assures us that “it makes you appreciate the time you have with them a lot more.” We asked the same question to Neville Cook, who has over decades experience in the age care industry, designing purpose built facilities and nursing homes for elderly people. He mentioned that he got the most “joy out of seeing happy residences who have found their best friends” and “enjoyed being part of something that enriches peoples lives.”

Doing something for somebody else has beneficial effects on your mood and mental health as well. When you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain that is associated with happiness. As a final thought, Luke asks, “What could be better than providing dignity and end of life care to elderly people?”

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