4 out of 4 stars
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Trust Me I'm a Care Worker is a non-fiction book by Christopher Bulteel. This humorous book contains extracts from a care assistant's diary. It offers its readers a glimpse into the life of a care worker in the UK. Bulteel lays out what is involved in administering care to the elderly, disabled, and those afflicted with various mental diseases. He manages to relate his experiences in a way that is both entertaining and memorable.
Christopher "Chris" Bulteel has been in the catering industry all his life. When his catering career abruptly ends, 53-year-old Chris boldly ventures into an unexpected new form of employment and becomes a care worker. His new line of work involves making house calls and looking after patients whilst their primary caregivers take a well-deserved break. At the start of his new career, one particular experience gives him the realisation that he can make a real difference in the lives of his patients. He meets George who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety, and short-term memory loss. Initially, George is grumpy and openly rude. It is only after two weeks of endurance on Chris' part that they finally share an intimate moment. Chris draws George out of his muddled mind and reminds him of a past that he can be proud of. This moment of success serves as an affirming sign for Chris that he has indeed chosen the right career path. Chris goes on to share the rest of his experiences and his other patients. Many of these patients face difficulties with an unbreakable spirit that inspires admiration!
The book contains just over forty different experiences or stories. Each of the stories have their own significance and contribute beautifully to the book as a whole. Some stories were wildly hilarious and others were of a more serious nature. The more sombre experiences taught me the importance of treating the elderly and disabled with respect and love.
The characters are memorable. Allow me the liberty of introducing you to one of my favourite characters, Edith. Edith is well into her late nineties or could possibly even be in her early hundreds. She comes from a much more genteel era and is a lady in every sense of the word. During one of Chris' visits, she has a fall and (to her great dismay) an "extreme rush of air from her backside" escapes. Poor Edith spends the rest of the afternoon moving the furniture around in an attempt to reproduce the sound of the offending fart, hoping to find a scapegoat to pin the blame on. I died from laughter upon reading this experience. The book contains many more characters, thus, everyone should be able to find that one character that they connect with. However, each character only appears briefly.
What I admire most about the author is that he respects the privacy of his patients and their families. He explains in the introduction how he has changed the names, locations, and in some instances the illnesses of those mentioned within the book. What really impressed me though is that he did not pay back tit for tat by exposing the names of those who wronged him. For example, he did not reveal the name of a supplier that refused to help out with a charity event.
I honestly could not find a thing to dislike about this book. If you are looking for a thrilling page turner, then this might not be the book for you. However, if you would like a book about the quirkiness and beauty to be found in life, then I prompt you to read this book. For a book in its genre, it deserves a perfect score of 4 out of 4 stars.
Trust me I’m a care worker
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