We’ve recently started asking our carers what a typical day is like being a live-in home carer.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CARER HEIDI CONLIN
Yesterday, I spent most of the day listening to the deafening tones of the alarms in the house, explaining to the monitoring centre each time they went off and three charming firemen (who arrived in full regalia in their fire engine) that I had checked the house and had not burnt the toast!
I vacuumed up after they left and then waited for the Chubb engineer to arrive to replace the faulty alarm box. Of course whilst all this was going on I had my dear client to care for who did not raise an eyebrow and slept through most of the chaos.
Of course, this is not a normal day in the life of a carer…. Or is it?
As anybody involved in live-in care will know, no two days are the same. On top of the usual day to day tasks – personal care, cleaning, cooking, providing companionship etc., there are a thousand and one ‘glitches’ that can occur without warning, some good and some not so good.
Whatever plans made in advance may be swept away by an unexpected visitor, illness or even just the client deciding they don’t want to ‘play’ today. Whatever happens, the main attribute of a good carer kicks in – FLEXIBILITY. As a carer you have to be prepared for anything. While most care plans are straightforward, life is never like that and to be able to adapt and change with the clients’ needs is one of the most important qualities a carer can have.
I am very lucky in that I am working with a very supportive family, not only supportive towards the family member needing the care, but also to myself as a carer. I have plenty of ‘down time’ and free time which is imperative when you are on call 24/7. We also work together very closely and improve the care provided as much as possible by sharing ideas and experiences, not only between ourselves but with the other carers who cover my weeks off.
This is the first of what will be an ongoing series from a carer’s viewpoint.