Working at Caremark is so much more than just a job and a means to an end… It’s a vocation with one simple mission – to really get to know our clients, and to support them to enjoy the little things in life that make a big difference.
Of course, our clients are at the heart of everything we do but it is our people who help our clients to flourish and enjoy their lives. To make this happen we need amazing, kind, compassionate and sensitive team members with excellent people skills, a real lust for life, and a genuine desire to help others.
“Looking after one person all the time was very rewarding, but it could be tough mentally and physically. Having been unhappy at the care my Nan received my thought was that if I was going to be a professional carer, I wanted to help as many people as possible.
“Joining Caremark enabled me to do this. It’s much more fast-paced than my previous role, but you need to work harder to build up relationships because you are seeing lots of different people during the course of a day."
In April 2019, Ann-Marie was made Field Care Supervisor, a role which still involves providing care herself, but also includes carrying out assessments of new clients and devising their care plans.
She adds: “I love my job. In some ways its very similar to when I worked in supermarket management in that you needed to be a good listener and deliver excellent customer service.
“If you come into care just for the money, then you have the wrong attitude and it’s not the job for you. But, if you have time, patience and understanding and like the idea of making a major difference to people’s lives, then there’s no more rewarding jobs.”
“Many of the people I cleaned for were elderly and I would often, at my own choice, help them with little care needs.
“I wanted then to see if care was for me but very quickly after joining Caremark I knew it definitely was. There’s great flexibility at Caremark so you can work as much, or as little, as you like, but I absolutely love what I do.
“If you have a caring side, it’s definitely the job for you and knowing what you are doing is helping someone remain at home is so rewarding. One of the nicest sides to the job is getting to know people and providing companionship.
“I am known as the singing carer because I always come into homes singing and it makes people happy. I can’t think of anything better than that!”
Donna, 49, has three grown-up children and recently became a ‘Nana’. As well as enjoying spending time with her grandchild, she regularly goes out for meals or the cinema – just two of her favourite pastimes, other than caring of course!
“I have high expectations of myself and others and I feel strongly that the care we provide should always be done to the very highest standards.
“You have to remember that when we originally walk into people’s homes, we are doing so as strangers, so that’s a big step for them, as it was for me when David was receiving care.
“It’s a privilege to be invited into someone’s home and you are often doing so at desperate times for them. As carers we need to ensure we are always attentive to people’s needs and be prepared to go over and above to meet these needs.
“I once visited an elderly lady who, at the end of my care call, started crying her eyes out. The last thing on my mind then was going home, even though it was late in the evening because I wouldn’t have been doing my job properly until I knew she was ok. Everyone has a breaking point and it’s only really when you have been in this position yourself that you truly understand what people are going through.”
“She hadn’t been out for a very long time so understandably was very lonely” Rhiannon explains, continuing: “this wasn’t helping her health and well-being. At the club she is mixing with people of a similar age and making new friends.”
Rhiannon says she is enjoying being a carer. “I like interacting and helping people and you get a lot of satisfaction from knowing what you are doing is contributing to someone being able to remain in their own home.”
“Retail and caring may seem like two entirely different jobs, but there are actually some similarities, the main one being customer service. Whether you are selling a tin of baked beans, or serving someone lunch, it’s effectively the same and both jobs involve interacting with people.
Jon, 47, believes his age has helped him adjust quickly to his new job. “Because I am closer to the age of people we provide care for I can talk to them about things they know, such as music from the 1950s or 60s, or even when you used to eat tripe and beef dripping.
“The best advice I can give to someone thinking about a change in career is to give care a go. Effectively, you are getting paid to go into people’s houses to talk to them and do the things that enable them to remain in their home – there’s not much better than that in my view.”
“My sister works in care and she suggested it was something I might be good at, but I wasn’t sure.“I was the shyest person you could meet and wasn’t comfortable in the company of strangers, so that didn’t bode well for a career in care. However, I took to it very quickly and needless to say I am no longer shy!”
Bethany says her approach to care involves really getting to know her clients. “You find out about people by chatting to them when you are in their home, that way you discover what they like and don’t like.
“An example is a client who likes the music of Neil Diamond. I didn’t know his music at all before she mentioned him, but I then made sure I listened to him so now when I go into her home, we put his songs on and sing together. That may not seem a big thing, but it means everything to her, and for me that sums up everything about delivering good care.”
“Mum was in hospital and I didn’t realise at the time that she was being looked after by agency nurses, one of whom was very offhand. She was treating my mum like a number, not a person, and I remember thinking I could do better than that, so that prompted me to become a professional carer.”
Lia has been a carer for 9 years and joined Caremark Kirklees two years ago. She is soon became a Senior Home Care Professional and was recently promoted to the position of Field Care Supervisor. Having worked for several home care companies, Lia is well placed to comment on the difference between working for them and Caremark. She explains: “It’s the flexibility they give you. I need to pop home every day to let out my dogs and there’s never a problem. They are very kind, and they want you to be happy when you are at work. That gives you great peace of mind.”
Lia’s day starts at 5am and ends around 6pm/7pm. During the course of a day she will see up to 20 clients. Lia adds: “My attitude to work is that if the clients are happy, then I am happy, and I treat everyone like I would like to be treated myself. It’s also about remember the small things, for example, when I am preparing food I like it to be nicely presented. So, when it comes to sandwiches, I will cut them into triangles and serve them standing up on a plate, like you would get in a café or restaurant. I even make sure the serviettes look pretty!”
“I choose to work as many hours as I can, so that means getting up at 5.30am each morning and not getting back home until 9.30pm, six days a week. I work half a day on Sunday, so we can have some family time in the afternoon.“I don’t mind working hard because it’s a job I have always enjoyed and helping people to stay in their own homes is so important.”
Tom is extremely popular with his clients who look forward to seeing him each day. He adds: “For me it’s all about ensuring I leave a client with a smile on their face, that’s enough for me.”