You are a caring person, you find great reward in helping others, in adding value to someone else's life. The thought of being a live-in carer appeals to you, just like it appealed to me when I took redundancy. It is a job I feel I was born to do, and I love it, but it does require a certain attitude, a certain approach to working with people, many of whom are living with dementia and, or, other emotional and physical challenges. In short, resilience is an essential ingredient. Living away from home for long periods of time in a stranger's home, fitting in with that person's life and personality is not easy. Even if you and the client get on very well and there are no behaviour challenges, this kind of life does take its toll from time to time and without resilience, you may not discover your full potential.
Resilience is not just about letting the water roll off a duck’s back or smiling regardless of the demands made upon you. It is also about showing initiative and doing things that are challenging to you in your own life. Sometimes it is about gritting your teeth and seeing if you can find a solution and a way through the tangled path that is ahead of you.
The life of a live-in carer can be tough and isolating, and The Good Care Group recognises this. That is why we offer twenty-four hour support for our carers with our on-call team. Your care manager is there to offer guidance and advice and it is to your mutual benefit, and that of your client, to develop a close and supportive relationship with your care manager.
Although TGCG offers excellent support, you will need to be able to rely on your own initiative at times. If you have to drive your client somewhere unfamiliar it is your responsibility to find out the route beforehand. It is up to you to find out about local services. That could be anything from where to find the community nurses, to emergency plumbers, to mobile hairdressers. If you are not 'good at Googling’, now is the time to push that barrier, push that fear. Search online for the information, ask neighbours, ask family members, ask the other carer in the placement. The doctor’s surgery is an excellent source of information for local health and social care services. Many have a care co-ordinator or a community nurse whose role it is to provide advice and guidance to help families and carers find the right services to accommodate the changing needs of elderly people in the community.
Be prepared for some interrupted sleep, too. Live-in care is a twenty-four hour duty; we are not ‘day carers’. I can count on one hand (with some fingers left over) the number of placements I’ve worked in where I slept through the night. TGCG has really clear carer guidelines which offer guidance on how many times we can realistically be expected to get up during the night to assist our clients. We are not however expected to work for more than the average number of daily hours we agree to in a 24 hour period and this is always set out clearly in the care plan.
Although you may experience some tough days, some sleep disturbance at times and have your personal boundaries stretched, there are many rewards, especially working for The Good Care Group, the only dedicated live-in care provider that puts its carers first, because we understand the importance of our Professional carers, and understand that you can only provide outstanding care if we take care of you.
These are just some of the practical rewards:
- We pay our carers above the new "National Living Wage", which is up to 20% more than the market average.
- We pay you a monthly salary - job security and peace of mind
- We manage all your tax and national insurance
- We provide a full range of benefits including paid holidays, on-going training and development
- We develop careers with industry-leading induction and on-going training
- We support you 24/7
- We have a very fair travel policy that far exceeds the amount competitors pay
In the UK, TGCG is proud to be one of only 2% of Live-in Care Providers to have achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating with the CQC (The Care Quality Commission).
For me, this has been a very rewarding and life-affirming job, the loveliest job I've ever had. With a ‘can-do’ approach you will embark on a path that will bring you many rewards and add a richness to your life that will pleasantly surprise you. A willing attitude will almost certainly lead you to discover inner reserves and resilience you never knew you had.
Laetitia Hannan is one of our very own Professional Carers who has worked with The Good Care Group as a Relief Carer on the Senior Care Team for over 3 years. Laetitia strongly believes in providing an outstanding service to the clients she cares for and provides a fascinating insight into the role of a carer. We hope that you enjoyed this blog as much as we did and find it both interesting and useful. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave below!