From Casino's to CAREGiving - Kelly's Story

Have you thought about becoming a CAREGiver but are not sure what to expect? Have a read of Kelly's experience. CAREGiving could be just the role for you!

Why did you decide to work as a CAREGiver for Home Instead Brighton, Hove and Shoreham?

When we were in lockdown the first time due to the coronavirus, my Auntie needed someone to come and help her out at home. I started to support her and she said she had a 94-year-old friend who also needed some assistance with shopping and other small jobs. It was strange because after I started doing that, Home Instead popped up on Facebook. I thought, oh gosh, that’s sort of what I’m doing at the moment so I might as well give it go. I spoke to Liz (Director) and we just chatted and I really felt as though it was something I could do which was totally different to what I’d done for work before.

I’ve been working in casinos for 26 years and I've had lots of fun on cruise ships travelling all round the world… it was fantastic! However I’m 46 now and I’ve found something new which suits my personality and I absolutely love it. After going to see my Aunt and her friend, I realised how much I enjoyed elderly company. When I was working in the casino, a lot of older people used to come in during the day time. I always used to have a chat with the older generation and listened to all their stories, so I knew I could connect with them.

What was it like joining the CAREGiver team during the pandemic?

Despite circumstances, it was actually really nice to go out and see people. In comparison to my previous job, it felt a lot nicer to give back rather than take money. After visiting my first few Clients I felt more confident. I have found the transition easy and it’s been a very natural change. At Home Instead, everyone has been so kind and easy to talk to so it’s been great.

When I was made redundant from the casino, I didn’t worry too much because I felt like things would fall into place and they did. I feel very comfortable in my new job as a CAREGiver for Home Instead.

What challenges do the elderly Clients face? How do you help them overcome any issues?

Loneliness is definitely the biggest issue for elderly people at the moment, which is why it’s so nice to go round and give people that time they need and chat. I think a lot of Clients appreciate seeing a friendly face. If I sit down and have a cup of tea with them, they love it because it gives them an opportunity to talk. Not interacting with other people must be difficult.

Has the CAREGiver role been as you expected? 

Yes it has and it’s been much more! It gives me a lot more happiness than I expected and I always look forward to my day. It’s uplifting when I go to work.

My Clients make me laugh. I have one lady who won’t get out of bed until she has bacon and eggs on toast. It’s their individuality and quirkiness that I love. I think, why not have your bacon and eggs in bed? I would.

Do you feel you have progressed in the role?

I was a little unsure of things at first but now I am really happy and comfortable in the role. I don’t do an awful lot of personal care, but I do a little here and there. I was worried how I would feel about things, but I’m really pleased I’ve taken it in my stride. Once you know people's routines it’s much easier.

How has Home Instead Brighton, Hove and Shoreham supported you during the pandemic?

They have been great and I feel supported. I’ve always been provided with the information I need and I feel safe at work. I don’t feel nervous about going into people’s homes, despite everything going on with the pandemic. I don’t mind wearing the PPE, it’s all I’ve known in this role and it’s a necessary precaution..

When this is all over (COVID) it would be really nice to get all the Clients together in a social setting because I think they would really enjoy that. A lot of them don’t have many friends and can’t meet with those they do have. It would really benefit them to socialise, I’m sure the CAREGivers would love to be involved too!

A message to those thinking about a job in care from Kelly:

If anyone is thinking about doing a job in care, then I say go for it! I think it’s either the right thing for you or it isn’t. It’s uplifting, rewarding and it’s really nice to get out of a corporate environment. It’s nice to work with such lovely people - I feel like everyone who works in the care industry is really kind and you won’t come across any unkind people at Home Instead.

We are actively looking for kind, compassionate and warm CAREGivers, who could be a match to our clients. If you are interested in becoming a CAREGiver with Home Instead Brighton, Hove and Shoreham, get in touch with our Recruitment Co-ordinator, Mine, via email [email protected] or call 01273 284090.