Meet Janis – a lifetime care professional

Janis's clients have become a big part of her life. She feels honoured when they confide in her and loves to hear their wonderful life stories.

Janis has been in the caring profession ever since leaving school.

Having come from a large family, and at the age of seven enthusiastically assisting her sister look after her baby, you could say Janis has been enjoying the role of carer all her life.

Janis originally qualified as a dental nurse, then spent a large part of her career working with adults with learning disabilities. Here, she rose to a management position, but missed the personal interaction and hands on caring, so decided it was time for a change.

Prior to joining Home Instead in 2017, Janis worked at a children’s hospice for 15 years, but chose to leave when it was no longer practical, due to a reorganisation.

It was her daughter, Nancy who suggested considering the role of a Care Professional at Home Instead.

Janis said, “I passed on my passion for caring to Nancy, who is the scheduler at Home Instead Reigate & Tandridge. She has a really important role, which is matching clients to Care Professionals. Building a strong relationship with your clients is a priority. When you are matched with a client who has a shared interest in say pets, gardening, golf or the theatre, it makes life easier and more pleasurable for everyone.”

Janis admits that she could have taken retirement a few years ago, but the flexibility of choosing the number of hours she wishes to work (currently 16 hours per week), allows her to continue to do what she loves and draw great satisfaction from each working day.

“I missed out on caring for my parents, as they both passed away in their 70s”, says Janis. “The clients I care for have become a big part of my life and they’ve filled that gap for me. I feel honoured when they confide in me and delight in hearing their wonderful life stories.

I can tell if a client just needs to chat and get something off their chest. Without the two-hour minimum visit, which is unique to Home Instead, it would be impossible to attend to their mental health needs, as the time would quickly disappear on personal care requirements or support around the home.”

As well as caring for her clients, Janis also runs the Personal Care Training for new Care Professionals.

“Not every Care Professional has had a background in care as I have. I say to those who are going through the preliminary training before formerly joining Home Instead, providing care doesn’t have to be daunting. Yes, you have to get your hands dirty every now and again, but if you have a big heart and enjoyed looking after neighbours or your parents, then you’ll make a great Care Professional.”

A new Care Professional is well supported by the friendly office team. They can shadow an experienced Care Professional until they are confident to attend visits alone.
Janis says, “Whilst much of the time you are out and about with clients, there’s always someone at the end of the phone at the office if you have a problem or need to talk. I enjoy going to the office when I run the Personal Care Training as everyone is so friendly. So much so that we enjoy socialising together too.”

In the early part of 2022, Janis received the Silver Award, which was presented by the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care England, in recognition of her outstanding care and for always going above and beyond with everything that she does.

This was followed by a trip to No. 10 Downing Street to formerly receive the award along with all the 2022 winners, who represented all types of care.

Of the special event, Janis said, “Boris Johnson thanked us all for our unwavering support during the pandemic and the significant difference we made to so many lives. He was most humble. Whilst he was extremely proud of the UK vaccination programme, there were other decisions that he admitted he got wrong.”

Whilst chatting to Amanda Pritchard, CEO of NHS, Janis was delighted to discover that she knew of Home Instead and she’d heard excellent reports.
Janis said, “The fact that the CEO of NHS was aware of Home Instead and its great reputation made me feel very proud to be a part of this outstanding home care agency. I’m equally proud to have received the Silver Award, but also believe that every one of my colleagues would have been worthy of the accolade.”

If Janis’s story has inspired you and you’d like to find out more about joining Home Instead and becoming a Care Professional, please get in touch.