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Being a CAREGiver

A week in the life of a CAREGiver – step behind the scenes with Paula Quinn of Home Instead Senior Care

There are many myths surrounding the role of a carer and recently there has been much discussion in the media (quite rightly) about the plight of elderly people cared for with short duration care visits and the pressures this puts on their paid carers. 

Home Instead Senior Care model of care is all about companionship and the development of relationships between clients and CAREGivers (which is the name Home Instead gives to its carers). 

It’s no doubt a major reason why Home Instead has been named as England’s number one care company based on data from Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. 

Perhaps one of the best ways to dispel some of the misconceptions and show how working in care can be rewarding is to look at a week in the life of one of Home Instead’s CAREGivers, Paula Quinn who provides care for clients in and around Ellesmere Port. 

Paula, 51 years old, had spent most of her career in retail as well as running her own business and owning a pub. When her parents fell ill, she became their carer as she did for her father-in-law.

Paula didn’t find her other work very rewarding, and it was her husband who suggested she consider a career in care, Paula says, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done”. Paula met with Chris and Helen, of Home Instead Senior Care Chester & Ellesmere Port, for the interview and found them to be really friendly.

Paula now works with Home Instead to give care in Ellesmere Port and enjoys caring for her regular clients during the week. She much prefers her new career, “You know you’re making a difference”, Paula continues, “I bumped into a client’s son last week who said he didn’t know how they would have coped if I hadn’t been there to help”.

It matters to Paula that by her giving care in Ellesmere Port, she has made a difference. Speaking about her CAREGiving role, Paula says, “I’ve met really interesting people and I want to take them all home. They become part of your life and you get to know the family”.

Another benefit Paula appreciates with her new career, is that during the working week, she now has the time to get things done for herself, which many other part-time carers for Home Instead also enjoy.


7.00am: First client of the week where Paula gives care for Helen Western in Ellesmere Port. She helps Helen out of bed, prepares her breakfast and gets her ready for the day.

8.00am – 9:30pm: Next Paula visits Alice Hardy to give care work in Ellesmere Port, which includes getting her ready, brushing her hair and having a nice chat with a cup of tea.

10:00am: Paula’s next client is in Huntingdon with Eleanor Roberts, where prepares her makes sure everything is ok and helps with general housework.

11am – 12:30pm: Joan Walker at Vickers Cross has become one of Paula’s friends. She stays for an hour and a half, doing her housework, preparing her meals and sits down for a chat.

12:30pm – 4:00pm: Paula has a break to choose to do as she wants. Usually on a Monday she will walk her son’s dogs.

4:30pm: Paula’s first afternoon visit is to John and Maggie. They are a lovely traditional couple, who like to have dinner at a table properly laid out. Paula prepares their evening meal, sets the table before she helps John who needs a bit more ‘hands-on’ care.

5:45pm: Paula’s next client to give care in Ellesmere Port is Ellen Nuttall. Paula ensures Ellen is comfortable, cooks her dinner and gets her settled for the evening.

6:20pm – 7:20pm:  Her last visit of the day is to give care for Elizabeth Smith in Ellesmere Port, to have a hug and a chat.


Paula has Tuesday morning off to be able to get things done for her family.

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Paula visits one of her daily customers Joan Walker to keep her company for an hour.

3:00pm – 4:00pm: She returns to Eleanor Roberts to prepare her evening meal.

4:30pm: Paula goes to give care for another regular client John and Maggie Stevens to cook dinner and set the table.

5:45pm: Finishing the day with Elizabeth Smith for her regular hug and a chat.


7.00am: Paula gives care to Helen Western in Ellesmere Port and prepares her for the day.

8.00am – 9:30pm: Alice Hardy is next. Paula tells Alice how nice she looks, which always gets a nice big smile before she sits down for a nice chat a cup of tea.

10:00am: Her next client visit is back to Huntingdon with Eleanor Roberts to help out with general housework.

11am – 12:30pm: Next Paula visits one of her regular clients, Joan Walker at Vickers Cross for companionship and to help her with the housework.

12:30pm – 4:00pm: Friend for lunch, food shopping followed by home.


7.00am: Helen Western to give care in Ellesmere Port.

8.00am – 9:30pm: Next visit is to Alice Hardy to which brush her hair, get a big smile and have a nice chat a cup of tea.

10:00am: Over to Huntingdon to see Eleanor Roberts, where she makes sure everything is ok.

11am – 12:30pm: Her last morning visit is back to Joan Walker at Vickers Cross for a general tidy.

12:30pm – 4:00pm: Paula has a good mid-day break can chose to do as she wants, which often on a Thursday means a visit to see her son.

4:30pm: Back in the afternoon to visit John and Maggie in Upton to prepare their evening meal and set the table as well as assisting John.

5:45pm – Returning in the evening to give care in Ellesmere Port to visit Ellen Nuttall to cook dinner and wash up.  

6:20pm – 7:20pm – Finishing her work day caring for Elizabeth Smith in Ellesmere Port for a hug and a chat.


10:00am: Paula begins her working day a little later and visits Eleanor Roberts to check everything is ok and help with general housework.

11am – 12:30pm: Then she drives to see Joan Walker at Vickers Cross to check she is alright, do her housework and prepare her meals for the day, before her cup of tea and a chat.

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Paula has a break before her next appointment.

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Paula enjoys a visit to an Austrian gentleman and his wife who live in a distinguished building with wardens. She spends a few hours with Dieter and Susan Hoffman reminiscing about the old days and learning how his family were affected during the WWII.

5:45pm: Returning to give care in Ellesmere Port to visit Ellen Nuttall, Paula settles her for the evening.

6:20pm – 7:20pm: Concluding her working week by going to give care to Elizabeth Smith at Ellesmere Port with a hug and chat. 


  • UKHCA Registered

Home Instead are very thorough and attentive, kind and caring. 

Mr N