As live-in carers we are uniquely privileged to support and care for people in their own homes. As such we are invited to live in someone's home providing care and companionship on a twenty-four hour basis.
I cannot think of a more fulfilling and rewarding job. With this privilege comes a great responsibility to respect the trust placed in us, as strangers, to live in someone's house and have access to all parts of that person's home and life. For me this means as one of the highest priorities, fitting in. Fitting into that person's life, their routine, their preferences, not the other way around. For a short time live-in carers should be prepared, graciously and compassionately, to accept that our needs, and desires take second place.
I am reminded of my experience with Molly, I had been briefed to expect a 'difficult’ and demanding person, someone who would test me and put me through my paces. On the second day, after a reasonably smooth and un-demanding time with Molly, she remarked that I was 'no trouble at all’. Mildly amused, I gently pursued the thread of conversation to discover that Molly had been afraid that I would try to take over and insist on doing things my way, that I would move her things about and look in her cupboards. This is what she had experienced before with live-in carers. This is why she was perceived as 'difficult’’. Once she realised that I was respectful of her position as the person in charge of her own home and life, and that I was happy to follow her lead, she relaxed and we got on beautifully.
The ability to fit in is perhaps the most important quality a live-in carer can have, if we truly want to make a positive difference in someone's life.
Real names mentioned in this blog have been changed for privacy.
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!