When Carefour asked me to write this article, my first thought was…panic! What on earth will I say? Do I even remember how to get my laptop going? I also felt quite proud to share my story.
After several cups of tea and a few biscuits, I decided to give it some thought for a few days and jot down some notes looking at what I did, in my role as a live-in carer. When I looked back It surprised me, and I was overwhelmed with pride when I saw what I’d been up to.
So, I decided to pull it all together, a little bit like a checklist, choose the things I do the most and share an overview of what I get up to in my role with Carefour.
But first, I thought maybe the best thing would be to first explain a little more about what the job entails. I get asked so many times what a live-in carer does, that I’ve become a bit of an expert at breaking it down and explaining it. Here goes.
The job satisfaction
When it comes to the crunch, my role is one I’m proud of. It’s incredible because each day, I get to help the person I’m caring for continue to enjoy a comfortable, secure, and most importantly, independent life all inside the familiar surroundings of their own home. Now, depending on who I am with, those services and support will of course differ, based on the day-to-day needs of the client; but this is something I love. There are no routines except the ones the client wants. It’s very freeing and really rewarding to help someone get what we all want, to feel safe and sound in our own homes.
Quality of life
An important factor of the role is ensuring that my client is treated with respect, and has the very best care, to allow them to have the best quality of life. It’s so varied and never has a pattern, I can be sitting and talking, washing up, cooking and eating together, washing & dressing, brushing someone’s teeth, and often helping with toileting and bathing. I love this part; we all know how important our appearance is to our own wellbeing and this doesn’t disappear as we get older. It’s a great feeling to see the smile on someone’s face when you help them get ready and look their best for the day.
Medication and training
I’ve had professional training through the Carefour Academy to help me be able to manage or administer medications as this is a part of living with a client in their own home. There are many other tasks I can do, and once you have been trained these things start to feel like second nature. I work closely with doctors and nurses too, to make sure I follow the right instructions putting the client’s health at the top of my list.
Keeping communication going
My experience has shown me that Live-in carers will often be the person who liaises with medical professionals, sorting appointments, important information, spotting changes to symptoms, etc and this is key to keeping a clients care on track. I’m effectively the eyes and ears of the client and their families who care for them. I see them more than anyone else, so it’s essential I am constantly observing life at home.
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care
We see this a lot as more and more people begin to suffer from this cruel disease. Caring for a loved one trying to live with dementia can be hard work. It’s demanding, very tiring, and more often than not, a little frustrating. My role allows me to provide the specialist care required to look after a person with dementia, giving them the friendship and routine needed to maintain their lives and how they feel, but of course, still focusing on their dignity and independence.
Food, glorious (nutritional) food
One thing I’ve grown to love is helping with food & nutrition. Once again, my Carefour Academy training was so helpful here, along with my e-Learning with Grey Matter Learning. Brilliant to refer back to! It’s nice to help clients stay healthy and cooking and eating together can be a really nice bonding experience. Sometimes I’m even the one doing the grocery shop for my client, so it becomes easier then to get the right things in for a slap-up dinner, as well as keeping an eye on nutritional goodness.
You’ll also find that most Live-in carers carry out a wide range of domestic tasks to help the client relax in their home that feels safe, clean, and comfortable. Luckily for me, I love a good hoover or dusting session but sometimes you’ll find me washing up, feeding the dog, washing clothes, a spot of gardening, or even arranging a lovely trip to the park. Every day is different which, for me, is something I love at work. It’s all dependent on the needs of each client and Carefour agrees on what’s appropriate, so you know what to do whilst you are there.
Being a supportive companion
One of the most important aspects of my job as a live-in carer is the fact that I go to bed each night knowing I’ve provided something that is essential to wellbeing. I’ve been a companion and I’ve supported someone in their lives. It’s a special feeling which is one of the reasons I love working in care. For many of our clients, who have live-in carers, simply having someone friendly to talk to, and laugh with about their life and what’s important to them makes a huge difference to their lives.
A live-in carer also gets to enjoy some incredible opportunities for connection. I find myself playing cards, going to the cinema, a garden centre for lunch and even the theatre. Sharing these moments with someone is a blessing and knowing you have helped make someone’s day is a powerful feeling, one I’ve experienced more than ever since I started doing Live-in care.
Peace of mind
Finally, the thing that most of my clients’ families and friends tell me that helps them is the peace of mind of knowing that someone is with their loved one. It provides great relief to know that a fully trained, caring, and trustworthy person is always around to ensure wellbeing and safety for the client when they need it most.
I love my role with Carefour, the job is rewarding in ways I couldn’t have imagined, the training is second to none, the perks are brilliant, the money is spot on and above the living wage and, after all that, I get to help someone feel cared for, supported and boost their quality of life each day.
Think being a Live-in carer might be for you?
If you think that a job as a live-in carer could be for you then click below to start a conversation with Carefour, and who knows, it could be you writing this article next time!