Carer Story: How Jill went from Car Sales to Live-In Carer!

We talked to Jill Partl about her experience of changing career becoming a Care Pro then a Live In Carer and what she loves about her work.

When visiting the office team this month, our Care Pro Jill Partl cheerily told us about how much she is enjoying her current role. With her lovely, bright, warm smile she clearly loves the way she is making a difference to the elderly couple she is caring for. We thought it was time to interview Jill and find out how she came into a career in care.

How did you get into Care as a profession?

Jill explains, “Well I was working in a car dealership. I’d always enjoyed it but it had become too regimented for me and I stopped enjoying it and fancied a change. I didn’t know what on earth I could do. I’d always worked in offices, originally as an auditor in a quality department for about 10 years, then in art rooms, when I was a graphic designer, then at the car dealership. I was ready for a change, so I left my car dealership job, but I had no idea of my next step.
At that time it was brother’s wedding in St. Lucia and I thought I’ll look for a new role when I returned. It was my sister in law, who worked as a private carer, who suggested I look at care but I replied “What? I’ve got no experience at all!” and she said “I think you’d be really good, especially for going to people’s homes.” I looked and came across Home Instead. I had an interview and they rang me the same day to say I’d got the job! That was in November 2022 And the rest is history!”

How did you find training to be a Carer?

“I was a bit anxious at first, but I did the training and enjoyed it. There were three of us for the Swindon area together with three from Oxford and we asked tons of questions. At the end of the training day I said to the trainer “Sorry we kept asking you so many questions!” as I thought perhaps we’d been too much! But she said, “No, not at all, that was one of the best ever training sessions ever! You were so keen to learn and get it right.”
Then I was assigned a mentor. I knew she was there if needed, but the training had been so good, I didn’t really need to call her and later she joked “You don’t need a mentor!” I’d had personal experience of family caring and I think that helped.”
Jill had the right personality and attitude and took to professional caring like a duck to water.

What is it like being a Care Pro in people’s homes?

Jill says “I can put my hand on my heart and honestly say, there’s no clients that I don’t enjoy going to and having a chat. It can be a good laugh, but the more I go to people regularly they sort of become like your extended family. I really like the way I have regular clients and knowing about them and their lives and what is currently happening with them. This means you can notice if they are not themselves and it puts you in a much better position to help.”

At Home Instead we have a policy of matching carers to clients very carefully according to suitability and we keep the same carers with clients so that there is an on-going relationship that develops over time. We also operate with minimum time slots of 1 hour so that our Care Pro’s have the chance to get to know their clients personally instead of just doing the basics and dashing out the door.

Jill continues “Clients often teach you things! It’s very much a two-way street. I had a client and birds of prey would fly over her garden. I didn’t have clue what type of birds they were, but my client was able to tell me, “It’s a red kite because of the shape of it’s tail”. So I learnt that a red kite has a weird shaped tail, like a fan. That’s what I love: you never know what you are going to learn next. Every day is unique just like every person you care for.”

What is Live In Care Like?

Jill, you’ve moved into being a Live-In Carer, how do you find that? Jill answers: “With Live-In Care you’re even more like part of the family. You see your client morning, day and night. I prefer it to shorter visits where you are dipping in and out. You just know the person so well: you know if they want to be quiet or other times more active. You learn their personal state of mind and their individual routines. I find it really rewarding.”

What characteristics does a Live-In Carer Need?

Jill replies “You need to be easy going as it is often someone with dementia. It can be difficult, as you are on your own (although you always have the support of the office team when you need it) and you have to be the positive one and focus on the bright side of life to take their minds off of things.”

Would you Recommend a Career as a Live-In Carer?

“Yes. It’s great when you can take your client out on trips as that gets them out of the house and makes their life more interesting which is lovely to be part of. I would highly recommend being a Carer and a Live-In-Carer as you make a difference to people and that is such a rewarding thing!”

It’s clear to us that Jill has found her vocation and is bringing and receiving a lot of joy. When she was in the office we heard about the delicious roast dinner she had made for her clients and how much they had loved it. Thanks Jill for all your wonderful work and for taking the time to share your story.

If you want to find out more about Live-In-Care for then more information is available at

Or if Jill’s story has inspired you to consider a career in care then visit: