I’m Cara Lloyd, I’m 21 years old, and I work for Premier Care Plus as a Care Practitioner.
A typical day…
A typical would probably be getting up about half 5 in the morning and getting ready for the day. I usually start about 7 o’clock for my first call, which would be helping someone get up out of bed, getting washed, dressed and helping them down the stairs. Then it could be preparing breakfast or supporting them while they make their own breakfast, and helping with mediations. I’d do this for about 3-4 clients before going on to the lunch calls.
Usually we do go back to the same people you’ve helped out with breakfast for the lunch calls and prepare lunch, or support them, and medication again. Not everyone does has medication, but the majority of clients we look after do.
Then you’d usually have your lunch break. After this you’d go on to your tea calls, which would usually be a hot meal or just a sandwich, depending on what they like and also medication again. Some people do have incontinence pads which we would help them change if they’re unable to do this themselves and what ever they need, even if it’s a little bit of housework – just putting the washing machine on or putting things in the dryer for them.
After you’ve gone to your tea calls, you’d go on to your night calls. This can range from either just get in to their nightwear, change their incontinence pads and getting a cup of tea and medication, to actually helping them in to bed as some people can’t get themselves in to bed when we leave. This could include hoisting someone or just being there to help them whilst they get themselves in to bed.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I enjoy most would probably be how you make someone feel while you’re doing the job. The thought that you’re making a difference in someone’s life, and that you’re helping them, is an amazing feeling to have and is probably the best thing you can get out of the job that you do.
Not everything is about doing something for them. The majority of people just want that little chat. They don’t want you to be in their house doing ‘this and that’. They just want a sit down and for you to talk to them and have a cup of tea with them. For a lot of people, we will be the only people they see all day, and we could be the only people they see that week. So, just to have that 5 minute sit down, and a cup of tea and a chat, it makes their week. The fact that they can talk to you about whatever they want to talk to you about, makes them feel so happy. It’s 5 minutes out of your day that you’re making someone feel so happy.
What do you find challenging about your role?
I’d say probably one of the number one challenges is that some people can’t accept that they need the help. Sometimes you can go in there and don’t really want you there and you’ve got to overcome that barrier of them not wanting you there and then them accepting that they need you there. You can’t go in expecting to do what we’re told to do straight away, you’ve got to build the relationship up with them for them to accept you there, and that can take some time. It can be a very challenging thing to do.
Once you overcome that barrier, it’s easy to do what you need to do and get along with them. You’ve got to remember that they’re not just a client of ours, they are a human being and they want to be treated like a human being as well.
Can you think of a time when you have made a difference?
Not just me as an individual, but the whole company that I work for, would probably be around Christmas when Premier Care Plus actually cook meals for the clients who don’t have families to do it for them. The Managers will cook the meals with the help of donations from people – the turkeys, the veg. They do this big Christmas meal for them. They get a cracker, Christmas pudding and everything. The Carers help deliver the meals for them. Stuffing, turkey, Yorkshire puddings, it had everything on it. They were so happy with it.
Just that simple thing made them so happy. You take it for granted though. You think people would spend the whole day with their family, but they fact that they can’t and that they’re getting their meal from someone else makes them happy, it makes you step back and think how much you take for granted when you see how little they have and how much you have at home.
What have you learnt from the people you’ve supported?
Oh, I’ve learnt so much from them. When I first started, I was a terrible cook. I could burn beans if I tried to cook them. One of the clients, every time I went there, they’d get me to try and cook something different every day, but we’d do it together. They’d sit next to me and tell me what to do, how long to put it in the oven for, or how long to fry it for. He’s actually taught me how to cook, and now I can cook anything. I can go to anyone’s house and anything they ask for I can do, where before I was a dreadful cook.
How did you start working in social care?
I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be in the care sector, but I’ve never known what sort of job I wanted to be in. I studied Health & Social Care. When I left school I went to college and did a Level 3. After my Level 3, I just went in to pubs because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and a lot of places want experience from you as well.
My friend actually worked for this company, and we were talking one day and she said, ‘why don’t you try and apply, they’ll give you their training and everything’. I applied and spoke to Connie who gave me an interview and she gave me a trial run. The first day I started, absolutely loved it. I shadowed for 3 shifts and after the first shift I knew it was what I wanted to do and I knew that this is the sort of job I wanted to come in to straight away.
Congratulations to Elizabeth McCabe-Boutrus, Manager at Premier Care Plus, who won the Leadership & Management in supported living or small community group living award at the Social Care Awards 2018.
Where will you be in 5 years time?
In September, I’ll be going back to college, only part time, to do an access course to university. I’m hoping to train to become an Occupational Therapist. Jane, my manager, has been so supportive of me, and anything I need, she’ll help me and she’ll help me get to that step. So hopefully in the next 5 years. I’ll be really close to getting to that step.
What would you say to someone who wanted to work in social care?
I’d 100% do it. If you want a job that’s going to make you feel so good, and you want to make a difference in someone else’s life and make them feel so much better, then it’s the perfect job for you.
Do it! It’s not what people expect it to be. It is a really hard job, but it is the most rewarding job I think you’re going to get. The fact that you’re helping some stay in their own home and be able to be as independent as they can be, it is the best thing.
So, if you’re caring and if you want to make a difference, I’d 100% come in to this sector. It’s amazing.
Premier Care Plus Ltd
Unit 5 Field Farm
Flintshire CH6 5SU
T. 01352 758 444
Posted on 21 March 2019