I chose the Care sector!
Healthcare Assistant David Middleton, 34, entered the care sector seven years ago. As well as receiving intensive training, he says he is always learning from the residents at Lambwood Heights Care Home. David met his partner, Adrienn, 36, working in a care home three years ago, and they live in Goodmayes with their four-month-old son, Jacob.
David shares his story of what his role means to him. David commented, “I used to be a self-employed roofer but was advised by the doctor to change my role for health reasons due to fumes. My Mum passed away in 2014 and I just wanted to give something back. “Emotionally it can be very hard at times, but it’s so rewarding to listen to people’s lives and what they’ve gone through. It does help us all to be honest to make ourselves better in the future from their observations and their experience.
“I just knew it was right for me. I’ve worked in hospitality and generally, I like to take care of people and get things done. You can see the difference that you’re making to someone if you’re promoting a good lifestyle. “On our unit, we have 19 residents all with different mobility status and illness. We work as a team on the floor to make sure everyone’s happy. It’s 12-hour shifts, 8am to 8pm, plus your handover time in the morning from the night team.
“Everyone has different needs and preferences. You have to be very careful; you can’t assume people are similar. You have to get to know the resident and enjoy the time you’re with them. It can be brief sometimes, as we are always very busy with healthcare, but we always try to do our best. “We get very good feedback from the families and build strong bonds with them. They have to be involved for the best care, especially if the resident can’t voice what they need. But we will always ask the resident first and take their word.”
David is a testament to the carers who have battled through the pandemic. “It was very difficult. We all know family is key. For elderly people not to see their family, it can have a big effect on wellbeing.”
Juggling much responsibility, Dave is clear on the most rewarding part of his role. “Just to know I’ve made a difference in someone’s life even by having a little chat and joke in the morning… they feel happy to get up and be ready for the day, instead of being cooped up in a room not receiving care. “It’s nice to find out what jobs they used to do, what spurs them on… “They were so excited when my son was born and so happy when I came back after paternity leave. They all say, “did you sleep Dave…” Their faces light up when I show them pictures. For them, they might have grandchildren that they might not have seen. If they’re not into technology and visiting stops, they don’t get to see them.”
Lambwood Heights Home Manager, Sonia Kasese, echoes why the work of people like Dave is so laudable…
“Carers have shown a tremendous tenacity and passionate dedication as they fully committed themselves to supporting the various crisis’ experienced in the care homes during the pandemic. Most of them were directly or personally affected by Covid 19 losing loved ones along the way and yet they put that aside to turn up for their shifts and work through to ensure the residents’ safety. They grew closer and grew stronger, became more confident and knowledgeable, as they also recognised how valuable they were to the care services.
“The support carers have provided for residents in the care home during the pandemic crisis has been uniquely vital because as we went through the different variations of restrictions etc carers roles suddenly evolved to full holistic person-centred care as they inevitably stood in for missing relatives.
“During the pandemic, we celebrated team members’ baby showers with the residents who presented baby welcome gifts to expectant mothers/fathers. Our residents became more aware of our carers as individuals e.g. carers looking after children, with families stuck abroad and details of which more therapeutic engagement illicit. They recognised each other as human beings instead of resident/carer roles.”
Find out more about how to join our special team and see our current available roles at www.oaklandcare.com/careers
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