Page 23 - TalkingCare_Issue3_WebVersion_OACP Winter 2017
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 workers live in all the time, just like Zeep. However, sometimes a night care worker comes in and takes over the care of one of Zeep’s clients covering between 9pm ­ 6.45am to ensure she has a break.
Zeep provides ‘live­in’ care to two elderly clients. “Live­in care is the most intimate care setting to work in”, Zeep explains. “When you are living in you are at the outset in effect a stranger in someone else’s home, caring intimately for them. It’s not easy for either party; they have to adapt to you and trust you and you have to get to know them as people, listen and learn about what is important to them and be aware of their established routines. But you also have to ensure that the client understands and accepts that you are the care professional, with the experience and knowledge to care and look after them, always adhering to your code of conduct.”
“For me, in my role as a live­in carer I can wear many hats. My day starts off with a handover meeting with the ‘night carer’; this discussion covers how my client has fared during the night. It is in effect an important record of what has occurred overnight, and could include measured blood glucose readings, offering reassurance and general observations. After the handover, I make breakfast, followed by personal care. Then medication; one of my clients has a life threatening condition, whilst the other has early onset dementia, so attention to detail when giving and recording medicine is paramount. I document all changes in behaviour and medication routines. It is imperative that information is written up clearly and precisely as family members and other medical professionals, e.g. Carers, Doctors and Consultants may need to read it. I organise and manage visits to the GP and Hospital as necessary. Activities for the rest of the day are organised around what the clients want to do. This is tailored care – placing the client at the centre of everything I do.”
“As a live­in carer you are a stranger in their home with barriers to cross. Time, space and respect will assist you in developing a close relationship with your clients. You are there to empower them, to give them their freedom for as long as is possible. Today, the pace of life is fast, being a part of this world as elderly people can be scary, disconcerting and disorientating. Look for the stimulus to keep your clients engaged, the more they know you and trust you, the greater the benefits. Patience, kindness and love, all those things given freely, to those in your
care can educate them for the next carer that may take over their care. As carers, we need to look into ourselves and assess how we would like to be cared for, what would make our life better. Listening to your inner self and to others is a virtue that not many people have ­ so next time you are in a conversation make a point to actively listen to the other person, you may find this helps you to communicate better. Be you, be honest. You are a bridge to enable your client to continue their lives”.
“If I could change anything I would like care agencies not to be ‘time’ conscious, to be sure they fully understand the needs of the person who will be receiving the care and build the care around that person, not the other way round. Talk to clients, get to know them, this will make a big difference to caring for them.
“Remember that no one is ‘just a carer’ – you are providing a vital service, making a huge difference to someone’s life and to their family. Advocate for the client and their family. Think about each situation you find yourself in and ask yourself ‘am I doing what is right for them in this instance’. Stop for clarity, adhere to procedure and if in doubt always ask your Manager, never place yourself or your client in jeopardy. People can have preconceived ideas about what a carer is and what it is they do. I’ve also heard people say that ‘caring’ is all about giving ‘personal care. It is important, but is only a tiny part of the care given to clients across all care settings. area carer is a person who is taking on a huge remit, which involves a myriad of actions – caring for someone else’s life. It is a very responsible job, a serious profession, but a very rewarding one ­ their life is in your hands.”
Graduating from University, Sarah decided to take time out to go travelling mainly visiting parts of South East Asia. The poverty and inequality were highly visible and this had a marked effect on Sarah. Needing to find work on her return Sarah volunteered for Oxfam and began work as an office administrator in internal communications, happy at Oxfam, but spending too much time sat behind a desk.
Sarah found herself thinking about how she could combine her love of nature and plants with her desire to support others in the community into an occupation. Was there such a job?
A passionate gardener Sarah set about finding horticulture courses (while on maternity leave), she did an RHS Course Level 2 at Waterperry Gardens, Wheatley. Now she needed to find a job that would fit her career desires and childcare. With no background in care, she applied to become a Support Worker at Style Acre and got the job!
Sarah without realising had found what would become an ideal job ­ supporting individuals and groups of adults with learning disabilities to participate in community activities in a garden setting. Realising Sarah’s interests,
  The Community Services Worker Award
Sarah Jones
Style Acre ­ supporting people with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire
         Adult Social Care...Needs YOU! Make a difference
to other people’s lives
“Looking after my brother gave me an insight into social care It made me realise that this is where I needed to be”
Get into care work today! You’ll NEVER look back...

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