A Day In The Life of a Sidmouth Carer

  Posted: 06.08.20 at 14:58 by Miranda - Home Instead Senior Care Exeter and East Devon

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Meet Miranda, a CAREGiver with award winning care provider Home Instead Senior Care Exeter and East Devon; providing care, companionship and support to people in their own homes. We asked Miranda to give us some insight into her role and what motivates her.

Hi, I’m Miranda; I was brought up in East Africa and when we came back to the UK, my parents moved to London where I lived for many years. I have two grown up sons and although they were born in London, they have grown up in Devon.

I keep myself pretty fit and before a running injury I ran 3-4 times a week! I hope to get back on track very soon! I swim, and gardening is my solace – I just love pottering in the garden! I love reading and cooking. Prior to Coronavirus I used to enjoy seeing my friends but that is a long distant memory! However, little rays of sunshine are appearing on the horizon regarding meeting friends again, so hopefully that will soon be on the agenda.

I’m a new comer to the care industry! I haven’t worked in the care sector before but I was a full time carer for my partner for the last four years so I was aware of the expectations and the responsibilities which go with the job. This experience of caring for someone; keeping them in their own home and assisting them with their daily needs as well as helping them to maintain as much independence, quality of life and dignity has been a humbling experience for me and I can truly say, a privilege. So definitely, it was my experience with my partner that influenced me and drew me into care.

I like people; I like helping people; it’s what I enjoy doing so the transition from being a full time carer to a CAREGiver with Home Instead was not a difficult decision. When the Home Instead advert caught my eye. I thought “I could give that a try” and asked my two sons what they thought of me doing care work, they said “Yes, you would like that, Mum” and the rest is history as they say!

I have a small group of lovely clients, one of whom I assist three times a day. My clients are either octogenarians or nonagenarians, so they have all reached an amazing age. And they are very different – some more challenging than others!

The clients vary as much as the job, and that is what is so interesting. Their personal needs vary as much as their personalities; one or two of them have mobility issues; dementia features with one of my clients and the majority of my small group have hearing and sight impairments.

There’s a routine and I like that. The routine is different for each client but it has been really important in helping me to get to know my clients and through their routine I’ve gotten to know them better and learnt about their preferences and their dislikes! I’ve seen a trust develop between my clients and myself and that has helped me to grow in confidence and to assist my clients more effectively.

The team at Home Instead have really impressed me. I have met several of the CAREGivers, shadowed a few of them on my first visits and I have to say, they have all been really friendly and helpful and totally want you to succeed and feel part of the team.

The support/admin team in the office have been amazing too and I mean that totally genuinely. They are so supportive, I have felt very much included from Day One and I don’t feel anxious to ask questions, which I have done and have received fantastic support. This inclusive team environment is such a big part of Home Instead and truly makes a positive difference to my working day.

A typical day for me usually starts with my first client at 8am and each visit lasts a minimum of one hour. Often there can be five hourly visits from 8am to 2pm and also an evening visit, perhaps even two evening visits.

The early morning visits are busy and varied, often involving getting the client out of bed; assisting with a shower and with some clients, assisting with dressing them.

Making breakfast for my clients is always on the agenda and it varies with each client, from a pretty hearty breakfast for some to just toast and tea for others!

Supporting with housework and maybe chopping vegetables and potatoes ready for their lunch are typical tasks for the early morning and lunchtime visits.

Some of my clients like a cooked lunch such as meat, vegetables and potatoes plus a pudding, so I assist them with preparing this if needed. Once I have cleared up the kitchen and other jobs are done I will often have a chat with my clients whilst they are having a cup of tea.

Evening visits with my clients are a relaxing and enjoyable affair. I make a light supper, more a high tea really and more often than not, this is when we have a nice chat before bedtime!

One of the really enjoyable aspects of being a CAREGiver is the interaction between client and CAREGiver, particularly the conversations! The subject matter varies enormously!

My clients are elders of society who have witnessed and experienced much and I enjoy gleaming an insight into their lives. I love social history, especially modern 19th and 20th Century history, which of course features the two World Wars.

A couple of my clients are just old enough to have worked for the WW2 war effort and have some fascinating stories to tell. They all started life elsewhere in the UK and it has been interesting to listen to the different paths they have each embarked upon.

I learnt very quickly that this job keeps me on my toes! I am learning to give my clients the best possible care but at the same time to keep the boundaries of professionalism very clear, which can be quite a challenge sometimes because if you are a CAREGiver you are naturally a caring and giving person.

The skills and experience I have gained continue to build. Certainly being multi-faceted is a definite skill needed as a CAREGiver. Often you need to make quick decisions, possibly life changing decisions and I have had experience of this just recently.

My favourite part of the job is the interaction between my clients and me and enabling them to stay comfortable and safe living at home; making choices and maintaining their dignity. Valuing a person, regardless of their support needs and working alongside them to maintain their independence and quality of life makes such a difference.

If you would like to know about current career opportunities with Home Instead, or you’d like more information on their care and support services you can contact them team on 01395 200600 or explore their website www.homeinstead.co.uk/eastdevon.

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