“When I started care work, I was nervous I would get it wrong, but I soon gained confidence and saw how my work made clients’ lives brighter.”
Often care work can be seen from the outside as daunting or people are worried about certain aspects of the job like personal care. At GoodOaks Homecare, we find people tend to have lots of misconceptions about what being a carer involves, and these misconceptions can put off the exact people who would be perfect for this fulfilling and varied role.
This month we talked to Michelle Parson, 46, one of our carers in the Bournemouth and Poole area about her career, what she loves about the job and what common myths about caring she’d like to bust.
At GoodOaks Homecare we pay industry-leading rates of pay and have an established career path open to our carers, so they have great options if they want to take on more responsibility. Alternatively, if a carer wants flexibility around children, family, hobbies or any other plans, we also can accommodate that. We believe that by nurturing and looking after the caring people we work with that we create the best teams. We are currently recruiting for our offices across the UK, so please visit our careers website and get in touch: careers.goodoakshomecare.co.uk
Michelle has been a carer with GoodOaks Homecare for 2.5 years – she had spent her entire career as a hairdresser, working self-employed, visiting many older clients in their own homes to cut their hair while having a chat and a catch-up. Michelle has experience of what a carer role entails because her stepfather is in a wheelchair and her mum had carers coming in to assist and help care for him – so for example, she was used to seeing a hoist being used to help him get about.
It was one of Michelle’s friends who first suggested she would be perfect as a carer, because she enjoys helping people and meeting new people. From her job as a hairdresser, she had lots of confidence chatting to people and experience providing a great customer experience.
She said: “It’s a really rewarding career, I get a lot out of it. One of the things for me that I find the most rewarding is being able to help, especially if someone needs help but perhaps, they are used to being very independent – it’s important to be respectful and gently build up that bond. It’s great because you get to see the same people a lot, so you build up a good relationship with them and they trust you – it’s really rewarding in that sense.
“I really enjoy the companionship side, where you have a cup of tea and a chat. You learn so much about people’s lives. I think some people sometimes forget that older people have had these incredible lives and they have done some astounding things – you wouldn’t necessarily guess either! People’s minds are so active and it’s such a privilege to hear their stories – especially when you think that you might be the only person they see on a daily basis.”
Michelle said that one of things she heard often was people saying they ‘couldn’t do her job.’ She said that she always encourages everyone to have a go at care work – and said the support and training she got really gave her the confidence to go for it.
She said: “Before I started in care. I was worried about going in and making sure I got everything right. People will have their own schedules and know how they like things, and you’re going into their home, so for me, I just wanted to get everything right for them as best I can. My confidence has grown so much now, I feel confident in what I’m doing. I think people worry about that when they go into care – I was a bit tentative at first, because I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right. But you get great training, you get to shadow shifts first to see what to do, and you realise that clients really appreciate your help. And if you don’t feel confident to be on a shift on your own when you start, you can do more shadow shifts – there’s no shame in asking. The GoodOaks team are great at supporting carers – although we work independently, we are never alone. We have secure apps that we are constantly in contact through, so if you are worried at all, you can just reach out. The main thing is, you are genuinely helping people and making their lives better and brighter on a daily basis.”
GoodOaks Homecare provides tailored and person-centred live-in and visiting care to people in their own homes. Our teams work with a clients’ wider care teams – like GPs – to create a care programme tailored to clients’ needs. This means our clients’ get to live comfortably in their own homes for longer. Good Oaks also offers respite care, as well as short-term care for clients’ who are returning home after a stay in hospital. We are recruiting now for amazing caring people to join us, please visit: careers.goodoakshomecare.co.uk