For too long the care sector has been associated with minimum wage and poorly trained staff, delivering care in 15 minute chunks....
Here at Home Instead, part of our ethos nationally, is to change the face of care-giving by treating our staff with dignity and respect in exactly the same way we do our clients, recognising the vulnerabilities associated with caring. Looking after frail Doris, dependant on support to get up in the morning or being the only one that lonely Fred might see all week, is a huge responsibility for anyone. So it's vitally important to recruit people who really want to make a difference to the lives of their client.
We can teach people how to provide care, but we can't teach people to care.... that comes from within!! And that's where we start - by looking at how big someone's heart is.
We have a wonderful team of people of all ages, experiences and diverseness, ranging from 21-70 years old and everyone of them really wants to make a difference to our clients lives. We have nurses, a piano teacher, hospice helpers, charity shop volunteers, a make-up artist, a dinner lady, wives, mothers, grandmothers and we even have a few lovely male CAREGivers too. Each and everyone of them is unique and special, with their own lives outside of Home Instead - which we are ever mindful of. At Home Instead we really care about them, matching them with clients, through their individualism, life experiences and characters. We train them, talk to them, listen to them, check on how they are getting on, sympathise, empathise and share our hearts with them. We give them time with their clients to build a relationship and trust.
We encourage diverseness in our CAREGivers because each and everyone one of our clients has their very own needs and support. Our clients have had amazing lives. We regularly hear the stories they have shared with our CAREGivers. We have an an oil tycoon, teachers, dancers, a professional football player as well as a former spy who dealt with counter espionage during the Cold War... We never forget that even though they are now less able or rather forgetful, they still are that special wonderful person who has had a full and varied life.
Caregiving is not for everyone and nor should it be. It definitely should not be in the unskilled section at the job centre, or only for people who can't get work any where else. It takes a very special type of person, with a very special skill to share their heart, offer trust, support and dedication to those who need us.