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2015 i-CARE Finalist – Denise Burns

Denise BurnsFinalist

My name is Denise and I have been working with Bluebird Care for over two years. The reason I started out learning about caring for people is because my mother-in-law was showing signs of Dementia. I applied to Bluebird Care for work and when I got the call to start I was unsure what to do, as I had just left my husband in A&E with an illness that had left him unconscious that morning.

Once I realised he would be ok but would need an operation, I then made the decision to go and work for a couple of weeks for Bluebird Care. This would give us time to work out what was going to happen with my husband. Two days later I met the most wonderful man. He was the kindest loving gentle man anyone would wish to care for. Every day I learnt something new it got to the stage that he was Mr. Google. He would answer a question quicker than we could type it into Google.

Minding this thin and frail looking man had its ups and downs, but never a day went by that I didn’t want to go to work. 21 months later and now, full of passed on knowledge, the slightly built man with the enormous wisdom of life and experience has passed away. He hasn’t left me though, I still hear him giving advice or saying to slow down or, it might rain bring in the washing.

I visit and care for many people each day, I am still learning something new as each day brings me in contact with unique personalities with their unique experiences, talents and knowledge of a world now gone and it may not be as obvious, that every house has a character and when I am not sure about something I hear myself saying what do we do here to the slightly built man I cared for.

My mother-in-law has Dementia and every day is a challenge, my husband recovered and I still love turning the key in a door and meeting the people who will teach me something new each day. Sometimes the wisdom and knowledge of a lifetime of experience can be lost because you see an old person who is now frail and burdened by the physical signs of age or illness. But beneath the world weary exterior, is someone who is a mother or father, someone who was a sweetheart and lover, someone’s fine young thing, someone who climbed mountains, who fought wars, someone who has suffered sometimes unbelievable hardship and sadness, someone who has known great happiness and victories and defeats. They are the people who built this world we now inhabit, who suffered the illnesses we now think of as history. They are someone who has done IT ALL before you and I, and for that they are entitled to your ultimate care and respect.