A day in the life of a carer: “It’s amazing how addictive this job can be.”
Fiona Loveridge has been a carer with GoodOaks since 2019 and works in the Westbourne area of Bournemouth. She said she loves being a carer and that it is a ‘hugely rewarding job.’ Fiona works five days a week with two days off mid week, she also helps to look after her stepfather and mother who live close by.
Born and raised in Kenya, Fiona has lived in South Africa, Botswana and the Philippines. She trained as a nurse in Cape Town before working in nursing and psychiatry. Following the death of her partner, she moved to the UK in 2007 to be near her mother and stepfather and started working as a carer.
As a child Fiona saw how important good care was after her father was involved in an industrial accident which left him in a wheelchair. He campaigned in South Africa for better disabled access and Fiona saw how small things could make a big difference, however she also realised that unfortunately these things were often only available to those who could afford to pay for them. This sense of justice and caring nature set her up for a career in the care sector.
Here we discuss why she loves her job, what being a carer is really like and why everyone should consider it as a career.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really like working with older people – you get to hear their stories and experiences. It’s such a fulfilling job it – it gives you a great sense of self-worth because you’re doing something to make someone else’s life a lot easier. Sometimes you’re the only person that the clients see day in and day out, it’s so lovely that you can update them on the news and what’s going on and really brighten their day. You can have such fun with this job, it gives you a real sense of satisfaction too.
What’s a day in the life like for you?
I get up at five in the morning.
I feed the cat and I leave the house about 6.30am for the first call of the day at 7.15.
At my first clients house I help her get up and dressed, then we go into the kitchen, have a cup of tea together and have a chat about everything from Coronation Street to what’s going on around the world!
I then leave and go to my second lady – First of all I make a cup of tea so that it’s ready for after I have helped her get up, washed and dressed. She always like to pick her clothes and it’s lovely to see her take pride in what she wears each day. Once she’s dressed and read for the day I help her with her medication. After this I make her breakfast, tidy up the house, I put the washing on if necessary and give her plenty of water to drink and makes sure she’s okay and set for the day.
After this I head off to my third client – I help him with his eczema creams and to get dressed, then clean up the flat – I make the beds, do the laundry, change the bins, water the plants etc. Once the flat is tidied I make us a coffee and we have a chat about what we’ve both been up to. He always loves to talk about his children and grandchildren, it’s lovely as I feel like I really know everyone in his family.
Then it’s time to go to my fourth client – I prepare his lunch and give the house a bit of a tidy whilst we have a catch up. About once a week I get the shopping in for him and make sure he has lots of food available to him.
After this I go to my fifth and final client, I make him some lunch, make sure the place is tidy for him and that he’s taken his medication. I always make sure there is time to sit down, have a cup of tea and a chat together before I finish for the day.
I’m usually on my way home by about 2.20pm before I go and visit my mother and stepfather.
What would you say to people that are reading this and thinking that they would like to try care, but it perhaps worries them a bit?
I’d say try it, it’s amazing how addictive this job can be! You feel so good that you’ve actually made a difference. With care, you’re doing things that make people’s lives easier. You can make a huge difference in their day just by turning up and listening to them. I think it would be good for everyone to have a chance to work in care because you look at things in a different way, it’s really humbling.