My Customers have become Family
Jean’s day as a home care worker begins when most people are still in bed.
At 7.15am she is already carrying out her caring duties at a house in Redcar. She then visits another customer and at 9.20am arrives at Tom and Chris’s house.
Tom has dementia with Lewy Bodies, an aggressive form of dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease and his wife Chris cares for him, supported by Caremark which makes two 30 minute visits a day.
“When I arrive, I begin chatting with Tom and even though he is not able to respond, I can see the recognition in his eyes. I continue chatting to Tom about what he had to drink in the morning and how he is feeling and together with Chris I help him out of bed and into a wheelchair,” she says.
Jean then showers Tom, joking first that he needs to take his shirt off unless he wants to be in wet t-shirt competition!
“After drying and dressing him, I then feed Tom his breakfast whilst continuing to chat to him and Chris.
“I love meeting people and hearing their different stories and helping people comes naturally to me. The job’s very varied, with Tom and Pat being very good examples of this, and I get a lot of personal fulfilment from it.”
When the 30 minutes is up, and after ensuring Chris and Tom have everything they need, Jean says goodbye and drives to her next appointment a few minutes away.This 30-minute call couldn’t be any different than the one with Tom and Chris. “Pat, despite suffering from arthritis in her hands and a lack of mobility in her legs caused by a fall a few years ago, is still very independent, but requires support with a bit of tidying and filling the kettle because she finds this difficult to do herself. Mainly though, this call is about company and Pat and I often spend half an hour putting the world to rights,” reveals Jean.
At 10.30am, Jean bids Pat farewell and now has a few hours spare before her next appointment at 1.30pm.
She goes on to make a further nine calls, all very different in their own ways, and with a break here and there and squeezing in time to meet her NVQ assessor (she recently passed her Level 2 in Health and Social Care), she finishes her last call at 10.10pm that evening.
She does this five days a week, including an overnight stay on a Friday where she provides care for a couple in their 90s who both have dementia.
Caring is ‘so rewarding’
Every carer employed by Caremark can choose how much, or little, they work, but Jean says she likes to be kept busy and caring for people comes naturally to her. She says: “When my children no longer became dependent on me, I was looking for a job and after caring privately for a lady in her own home, who subsequently went to assisted living accommodation, I started working for Caremark in 2016.
“It’s a very flexible job so I could work less hours if I wish, but I prefer being busy and I use the time in between calls to do things like pick my grandkids up from school or to pop home to put the washing out. Caring is a great profession and if you really get into the job it is so rewarding. I look upon the people I provide care for as part of my extended family and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.”
An article published in Homecare.co.uk