My care workers do the little things you’d normally take for granted. I couldn’t cope without them
Rachel, who is a wheelchair user, relies on Candlelight Care workers to help her throughout the day.
Suddenly going from being very independent and being able to do everything yourself, to having strangers come into your house and doing things for you, was new for me. Because I’m young and I’ve always been very independent, it was even more of a shock.
It also took me a while to get used to the fact that I actually do need help. And then once I started having care workers, I realised I was suddenly very dependent on them.
Choosing Candlelight Care
I’d never used a care service before because I didn’t ever need to, so I didn’t really know anything about what care work entailed. Candlelight Care was suggested by my social worker and they seemed nice. They come and do an initial meeting with you to find out about your needs and they asked me if there was anything I might be worried about because I hadn’t had this experience before.
The fact that I was able to meet with someone was important, and the girl that came round was a similar age to me, which was really nice – I could talk to her like she was a friend and that made me feel better about myself. I had lots of questions such as ‘Can I ask them to do this and this and this?’ and ‘What can’t I ask them?’ and the lady who came was really easy to talk to about all of that.
Talking to them put me at ease because I was a little bit apprehensive.
She explained that the care workers generally have the same rounds and although I might see different people, I’d get to know them and they’d get used to the routine of helping me out. That was something that appealed to me because I like routine. Because you see the same people regularly you do get to know them and it’s not just a passing ‘hi’, it’s more than that - not totally personal, but things like ‘You said you were going on holiday? How was that?’ and it’s not fake.
Life with Candlelight Care
The care workers come in the mornings. I can’t use my legs so they get me out of bed and they help me transfer onto my commode. They wheel me into my bathroom and then I can shower myself most of the time, but sometimes if I’m really bad they have to help me. Then they’ll help me get dressed, and make my breakfast and coffee. If I need some lunch they might make that for me too.
In the evenings, someone comes in as well. If I need to cook something they’ll do a simple meal for me, or if I’ve got something almost ready they’ll finish it off. Then they help me get into my bedclothes and get me ready for bed.
If no one came round in the morning, I’d be lying in bed until someone arrived because I can’t get out myself. Also, as I’m in a wheelchair, I can’t do things like reach items in a high cupboard. They also help with putting my washing away, putting the washing on and things like that. There are other tasks I can’t do easily, like putting the rubbish out, so they’ll do that for me.
If I didn’t have care workers coming in in the mornings or evenings, I couldn’t function properly so it really is an essential part of my daily routine.
Having a male care worker
I have one guy, Lee, who’s absolutely brilliant. I probably see him the most in a week and he knows exactly what I like and we have a good laugh. As a woman, you might be slightly apprehensive because it’s a guy coming into your house, but they’re very good. When you meet them you realise that they are doing a job and providing a service for you, and that they’re no different to someone doing their daily job in an office.
For me, everything that I’ve experienced with Candlelight has been great. I can’t function without having carer workers come into my house, so everything they do for me means that I can lead a normal life – I’d definitely recommend them.
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.