Being a CAREGiver
So what’s it like to be a CAREGiver at Home Instead Senior Care in Swindon? We spoke to Helen and Christine who are part of our lovely team.
Christine, CAREGiver since July 2016
So Christine, why did you become a CAREGiver?
Well, my background really is secretarial within the pharmaceutical industry - and my last job (following having a break bringing up my children) was different and I was working for a Chartered Surveyor, but “something” was missing and I disliked being cooped up in an office. I decided to look for a job which suited “me” more - I saw an advert online from my local HISC, read all about the job and the requirements for the job – and thought wow – I like the idea of that – it sounds like a perfect job for me – nervously called them, got an interview, and got a job – and that was back in July 2016!
How do you make a difference to people’s lives?
I always love going to see my clients – which they see and they know how much I love my job and seeing them and that makes them feel great. Whether that is being there in the mornings getting them ready for their day with washing etc., helping them choose what jewellery to wear, chatting with them, listening to them talking, building a bond with them, “fluff” up their hair, I do nail-painting which a couple of my ladies love, take them out for lunch or cook lunch together, go for a walk, weed the garden together, go food or clothes shopping together – the list of the differences I can make in my client’s lives goes on and on – there is so much I can do and will do for them to help them live their lives happy and content. One of my ladies has said “I am part of her furniture” – wow what a compliment!
What is it like working for HISC?
I absolutely adore my job – cannot imagine working for anyone else. The staff at Head Office are an amazing bunch and they cannot be faulted at all – any worries I have I can call them, when I pop in to pick up supplies am always made to feel very welcome and I even get a cup of coffee made for me! I have had some lovely feedback from them and feel very appreciated and valued. I’m really proud to be working for HISC.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing my lovely clients throughout the week, making them smile, laugh, I love listening to their amazing stories they have to tell, love our chats, I love caring for them, keeping an eye on their health, spotting anything unusual, any worries they may have, and also contact with their families too – having professional contact with them puts their minds at rest if they aren’t local to their loved one – one client’s daughter said I am her eyes and ears when it comes to her dad. I have a couple of clients with dementia – but due to training am so more comfortable and at ease with those two lovely clients. Job satisfaction for me has to be 200%.
What would you say to others thinking about becoming a caregiver?
It’s not for everyone of course – no job is – becoming a CAREGiver has personally given me total job satisfaction – if you enjoy looking after others, or have experience with caring or even have a family relative with needs or dementia for example – and you really aren’t in the right job as I wasn’t - then you really couldn’t get better training, great support from the team as they are very passionate about their jobs and Home Instead. You would meet other CAREGivers too which I have enjoyed chatting to. They also support you if you wanted to do a NVQ too. Any further training they will support.
Helen, CAREGiver since January 2018
Why did you become a CAREGiver?
Previously I worked in a pre-school for over 16 years but unfortunately it had to close. I had really enjoyed working with young children but was being to think I had maybe done enough. So when I finished at the pre-school and my mum died within a week of each other, I felt I needed a career change. I did think about retail but felt I wanted to do something that helped people more. Having experienced Home Instead as a client’s family member and seen the good service they provided, I decided to become a caregiver.
What is it like working for HISC?
I really enjoy my job and feel appreciated and valued. I only wanted part time work and it was good to be able to choose the hours I would be available to work as it enables me to spend time with my dad and help him as well. I have been working for Home Instead for 3 months and have a few clients which I visit regularly. The minimum visit time is an hour so you get to know your clients well and spend time with them.
Home Instead give you good induction training and any extra training needed for specific clients is given as and when required. They also offer more specialist training in certain areas like dementia. The office staff are all very approachable, helpful and supportive. There is always someone available at the end of the phone if needed. They provide plenty of positive feedback which is a good encouragement that you are doing the job well. All the office staff and other caregivers I have met are passionate about their jobs. I feel proud to represent Home Instead knowing we provide quality care in the community.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
I have settled into my new role well and enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know them. It is good to know that you are helping to makes the lives of your clients and their families easier. I feel I am helping provide a valuable service in enabling people to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. I feel I genuinely make a difference to my clients and family members’ lives. The clients make me feel appreciated and with some clients I have been made to feel like part of the family.
I am really enjoying my career change and if you feel caring for others is something you could do, I would definitely recommend working for Home Instead. There will always be people needing help and support and with people living longer that is likely to increase, so caregivers will always be needed. It is a very rewarding job.
Home Instead Senior Care provides my loved one with companionship so she can have someone to talk to, build a friendship and experiences........she can enjoy life and not just live it. I know that I can get a listening ear and support at times when caring for an elderly relative takes its toll.Mrs J, Wantage