Laura has just started working at The Good Care Group in our Marketing team, and wanted to find out more about what happens in the operational side of the business. She shadowed a care manager for the day recently, and here, shares her experience with us.
“Having worked in care for a number of years now, I’ve always wanted to spend some time with a care manager so that I can visit carers and clients in the field and really get a feel for exactly what it is like to receive care in your own home, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to. When I was put in touch with Care Manager Claire Wright, I jumped at the chance to spend the day with her, and she was more than happy for me to accompany her.
“Claire covers our care packages in the West Midlands, which is where I am based, so we met somewhere local for both of us and headed over to our client’s home in Birmingham. The purpose of the visit was to conduct a care review after a change in circumstances for our client, who had recently come out of hospital.
“When we arrived, we were greeted by two, very friendly, live-in carers, who have supported our client for a good few months now, so know her very well. The first thing we did was to say hello to our client, who is in the later stages of dementia and is unable to mobilise. I was thrilled to get a wave and a smile from her! Although she didn’t vocalise to us, she was still able to say if she wanted or didn’t want something by nodding or shaking her head, with lots of smiles in between.
“After we had a chat with her, we then sat down to begin the care plan review, which took a couple of hours to complete. Claire was extremely thorough, checking medication logs and whether the supply in the property matched with the logs, the client’s appetite and fluid intake, finances, behaviour and general well-being. Claire also addressed the change in the client’s circumstances after leaving hospital and whether all of the correct equipment was in place, such as an airflow mattress to prevent pressure sores or if the occupational therapist and physiotherapist still needed to be involved in her care.
“Another aspect of reviewing a care plan is the level of risk in the client’s home, which can be anything from falls to fire safety. Claire and the live-in carers went through this in meticulous detail, noting down additional items that they would need to follow up on, such as liaising with the fire services due to the client living in an apartment block that isn’t on the ground floor.
“Part of Claire’s role is to ensure that her live-in carers’ well-being is catered for, too; so she checked that both carers were well and if they wanted to discuss anything. She also made sure that they had everything they needed and knew who to get in touch with from the client’s contacts.
“I remember at one point glancing around the client’s living room, and I was struck by how many books she had on various topics such as medicine, painting and cooking, as well as a huge number of novels. She also had some beautiful artwork, trinkets and treasured possessions, which really gave me a sense for how important it is to enable anyone who wishes to continue living in their own home to do so, regardless of their medical condition or needs.
“It was a very humbling day and I really appreciated meeting Claire, the live-in carers and our lovely client. It made me realise how hard our live-in carers work and the selfless tasks they do every single day, always putting our clients first and their preferences. I was also extremely impressed with the care and attention Claire took with everything she did whilst in the client’s home and when speaking with the live-in carers. She clearly cares very much about her clients and carers, and it highlighted the great relationship she had with all of them. And I was lucky enough to get another wave from our client as I left, too.”