I have been a personal aid for about 6 months. Whenever I tell someone what my job is they always reply with: “I really respect people like you.” or “It takes a special kind of person to do something like that”.
I assist a woman with disabilities. I help her with basic activities of daily living. It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun. Sometimes I’m quick to get pessimistic and frustrated, but this experience has taught me a few things.
- Not all disabilities are physical. I was technically hired to assist this woman because of her various health problems. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up on mental and psychological setbacks. I would get annoyed because she seemed physically capable of doing most activities. What I didn’t realize was she has quite a few mental and psychological problems due to a unhealthy childhood and severe trauma. You never know what someone has experienced and while that is not an excuse; it’s an explanation for certain behaviors. If you have a similar job than you might want to take this into consideration.
- People will have different lifestyles. This seems kind of obvious, but everyone lives differently. Being in another persons’ home a majority of my day-I am hyper aware of the surroundings. People have other ways of doing things and have distinct possessions. I try to be more minimal in the way I live and organize my things. But others may not and that doesn’t mean they are wrong or bad or anything of that nature. Sometimes you just have to accept that they live differently, and as an aid I can’t force someone to be like me. I can give advice, but I can’t impose my lifestyle on them.
- Have their best interest at heart and don’t judge. This is my last and most important point. With anyone you take care of or work closely with; you want to have their best interest in mind. What is best for that person might not be what you want. It’s not that your wants are less important, but at work your client is the priority. Making you client happy will in turn bring joy and happiness to you. Also, going into these situations without judgement will be the most beneficial. Like I said previously, you never know what someone has been through or continues to go through. Judging your client will only make your experience less enjoyable and it will give you guilt.
I feel like these lessons can apply to many other jobs or aspects of life. Accepting others is always the right way to be. I hope this was relatable! Thanks for reading!