“I was the closest person to make the day special.”

“I was the closest person to make the day special.”

Professional live-in carer Sarah marks a special occasion whilst shielding with her client.

Professional live-in carer Sarah’s client, Mr R, turned 99 years old in April this year. Sadly, because of lock-down he was not able to share his special day with family and friends. Shielding with her client but determined to mark the occasion, Sarah was in a unique position to plan a day of special birthday celebrations that could be done whilst observing all safety recommendations.

Sarah tells us “I wanted to arrange these celebrations as it seemed such a shame for my client to not be able to celebrate his 99th birthday how he and his family would have liked. As I was the closest person to him and a great working relationship with him, I wanted to make him as happy as he could be on such a special day, and make him aware the day had not been forgotten.

When the big day arrived, I decorated his home with flowers and balloons and a friend of Mr R helped me get some of his close friends to gather in the street at a safe distance to be able to wish him a Happy Birthday. He was really surprised to see everyone, it was a lovely joyous moment. I had arranged birthday cake and champagne for everyone to toast him with, and his friend took some photos.

Later in the day we had a zoom conference call planned with every member of his family so they could send their congratulations and share a toast with him as well.

Mr R’s daughter also contacted a local radio station to get them to mention his big day, and they rang and spoke to Mr R himself and he asked for anything by Jim Reeves to be played on air. He thoroughly enjoyed all the attention.

The local newspaper even ran a story about his 99th socially distanced birthday and Mr R’s friend cut out the pictures and the report and framed the whole thing so Mr R could have it on his front room wall as a reminder of his day.

I became interested in caring for people at the age of 12 when through the Girl Guides, I volunteered in a Children’s home and made a difference to one young girl in particular whose family lived too far away for them to visit her often. She and I became good friends and she missed me when I was not there, and staff would have difficulty getting her to understand that I could only visit at weekends due to being at school.

I have been a carer for over 24 years in many different setting from residential homes for low to medium dependency people, care homes designated for Dementia, to community companies that dealt with any person needing care with any conditions such as learning difficulties, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, stomas and eating disorders.

I chose to change to Live-in care as I had seen how much more beneficial it was to people to have someone there with them 24 hours a day. It gave more of a sense of security for the person. I researched live in care companies and found The Good Care Group’s website and looked at the CQC rating and was very impressed, so I decided to apply for a job. Here I am, now 3 years in, still enjoying being able to provide one to one care and experience the difference it makes to people like Mr R”.

Janet Bill, The Good Care Group Director, comments: “Our clients often tell us that there’s nowhere better than home. Live-in care is all about providing the care and support that a person needs to live their best life in the comfort of their own home and Sarah’s story is a really good example of that. I’m really proud of Sarah and all our professional live-in carers and care managers and the incredibly high standards of support and care they provide’.

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