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Real-life experiences about caring!

Nothing gives me more joy than feeling like I’m changing somebody’s life for the better

Angela has been working at Candlelight Care as a care and support worker for over twenty years. After losing both her parents in 1995, she decided that she wanted to look after others. She initially took a care job with Candlelight Care as a stop-gap but found it so rewarding that she has worked there ever since.

Making a real difference is what makes a job in care so rewarding

There’s nothing nicer than seeing how pleased your clients are to see you and I feel real affection from my clients who are truly grateful for the support I give them. 
Working in care means doing as much as you can for people, sometimes even in your own time. I had a client once who was going to be completely alone on Christmas Day so I took some time out from my own family Christmas to deliver some Christmas dinner to him and spend some time with him. Nothing gives me more joy than feeling like I’m changing somebody’s life for the better. 

It’s clear how comforted my clients are to be able to stay in their own home, surrounded by their own belongings and I get to form strong bonds with my clients whom I see regularly. That allows us to develop our routine that we stick to when we can. This makes it easier for me to offer the best care possible, and it makes it easier for my clients too because they know what to expect. 

What would you say to someone who was thinking about a care job?

It’s an emotional job and you have to really want to do it. You need to have patience beyond patience and not be clock-watching even though you know you are on a tight schedule.

Most of all, you need to be understanding and a true ‘people person’ whilst being strong-willed and strong-minded. A lot of people worry about the personal care side of things, such as washing, dressing etc. This all seems daunting at the beginning, but you’re given training and you just get used to it - it’s just something that needs to be done.

Working in care is more than a job - it's a vocation

How care work has developed over the years

When I first starting working in care, it was very different. Nowadays care staff have to be more knowledgeable so they receive a lot of training before they go in to see clients. It wasn’t so common for people to have the choice to stay at home so would often end up in residential care when they couldn’t cope at home , so a homecare role was more about offering practical help like shopping, cleaning and preparing meals. Nowadays there seem to be far more people who need to receive care at home perhaps due to a decline in support from families who might live far away from each other because of jobs, or because of cutbacks in social care. Sometimes it feels like we are doing more of a nursing role than a care role and I am still learning things every day.  

What are the challenges you face working in care?

Care work isn’t always easy - you’re often very busy and it can be tiring. And there are occasions when you don’t get a positive reception from your clients, which can be unsettling. But you’ve just got to try not to take it personally and keep going. It can also be hard when a client’s condition deteriorates and their wish to continue to be cared for at home is overruled.

The vast majority of care workers are dedicated and hard-working, but the small minority of poor staff who feature in the news give us all a bad name!

It’s difficult that the perception held of the care sector is often a negative one. I hope that this will change… 

A career in care can be really rewarding. If you think you've got what it takes to support people through homecare, and you live in or around Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire or East Sussex, contact your nearest branch to find out about available opportunities.