Colours and sounds of a Care worker :)

PART 1 (not sure there is a part 2)

It came into my head tonight that there must be a tail or two that care workers could tell us that will shed light on the fun it can be to be a carer. Yes it’s a serious job (I am well aware), but if like me, there has been some funny/amusing/amazing/extraordinary experiences that within care then maybe we should share. It’s just a thought. Of course no identifiable information that would break ‘data protection’ or ‘confidentiality’ but stories that may bring a wry smile to your face or did bring a rye smile maybe even a loud laugh.

My first day as a support worker (18 just left home) gave me a shock, having a lady ask me outright if I had a Fanny and the proceeded to say I have ‘see’. Oh and yes she showed me. How I managed to be brave enough to stay I do not know but I did. It still brings a wry smile to me face when I think of her that first moment.

Not long after this I was told I would need to practice ducking and I just laughed at that comment not understanding the real implications until, a glass and a table came across the room then I realised ducking was a skill I mastered very quickly. I found myself drawn to the services users who everyone seemed to want to avoid as they were deemed as ‘challenging’ and they were but finding out about the person and learning the triggers and reasons behind the frustration helped enormously.  So I would watch and observe and move very quickly when another support worker went in feet first with no thought for the persons feelings. They soon learnt to duck. Sadly 28 years ago there was not  much training or clear understanding. However, I now enjoy being able to share my knowledge in supporting positive behaviours.

If you could see care in colour then below is what it would be, unique, bright and sometimes explosive. It’s all the colours of  the rainbow and more.

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If you heard it in a sound then it would be all the chords, notes you can think of going of at once.

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So what I ask is that you focus on these stories of joy, amusement, uniqueness and inclusion and share them with respect. Remember on the harder days it’s going to be a better day soon. Think of the colours, think of the sounds and then remember your going home you are just there for a moment in some of the people’s lives so make that moment mean something. Make that time be colourful, make the smile as bright as you can and focus on what matters.

Please feel free to share your stories, please feel free to ask advice and feel free to be unique. YOU ALL MATTER 🙂

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Story of a Care worker

Care is amazing but hard please value the ones who do the job.

Over the years I have met so many care workers so great, exceptional, amazing, passionate, driven to provide the best of care and then the ones that are not all of the previous comments. Carers from all over the world who are committed to supporting our most vulnerable, yes I am not blinkered to the poor care out there but its getting better and we are more vocal at the poor care now.

So many experiences I have been lucky to have had,  from supporting independence to enabling someone to die at home with their loved ones. Every moment just as important as another.

I have been through the saddest of time and then the times that has been utter joy. Each experience has left a mark on me and has made me who I am today when I go and do assessing/training for people who work in care. I focus on my learning through experience and try to impart some experience on others. I am always passionate   about care because this is one of the most important industry you could work in.

I think back at times and remember by first day of walking into a Big House in the Village of Milton in Cambridge (Edmund House), it was an old building which would be classed as an institute but Mencap were working hard to alter the care/support for people. I came at a time that I was able to be part of that. Watching the development of a more independent and inclusive provision. I was 18 just finished college in Scunthorpe and thrown headlong into the world of care. IT WAS A MASSIVE LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE!!!

I have met along the way people who have made an impact on me some for the good and some for the wrong reasons. However, I love the care world, I have faith in the care world, regardless of society not respecting or noticing the hard work carers do. We pay the minimum wage to the people who are caring for our most vulnerable but they do it in spite of that.

I want to continue to try to value and get others to value care and therefore I may change my page to something more inclusive. I have not been able to have the impact I wanted and now it back to the drawing board to think about how I get care out there as a positive. I want a community who are not afraid to share their stories and to share the advice so time for change I think.

Care needs a voice and I may try to get it one.

So please come on and pull up a chair and talk about care. Talk about everything you want to. Open the can and lets not place the lid back on lets just share our experiences and stories that will make people smile and see the positives.

Scary times being OUT and as a definite IN I worry for care, training and all the people who care regardless of what country you are from you do a vital job.

Take this as a bloody big thank you from me. pooh

Its who you bump into sometimes!

Well its been a month and a half since I gave up college assessing (it just wasn’t for me), Even though still feel somewhat nervous and anxious, I am now starting to feel motivated. Yes motivated and its not bad. Yes my little monster in my ear still tries to bring me back into a less motivated space or tries to pass on the CBA function. I AM NOT LISTENING!!!!

Anyway I digress… well yes motivation is back and that was helped when I bumped into a manager of one of the very first domiciliary care agencies I assessed in. Well it was a quick catch up (gossip). However, after the brief catch up we went on to talk about care and the impact of double up rounds on the ‘purse strings’. Now we all know cuts are happening (disgraceful cuts) but there is nothing we can do so we have to be seen to still trying out very very best to meet the needs of each person. So double up rounds (2 carers) are being looked at to see if there are ways that one carer can do the same as 2 (calm down no need to shout). There are ways but this means equipment and I mean the very best equipment out there that cost money and that will be a big outlay to begin with however, in the end it would save money but also in some cases provide a better care experience. We need the care providers on board with this but so many see the £ signs for double up and do not want to budge. However, luckily I assess in one place that are open to looking at the change and to look at what this means to the people they support. Never, in any legislation does it state 2 carers must hoist yet care companies work on the proviso which is incorrect. What it does say is safe use, meeting the needs, assessing the risk and adapting to ensure correct equipment.

So come on lets look at this and lets see how it will help, so if your a person out their that is caring for the loved ones and they need hoisting work with the providers to look at the systems in place. If you a carer be open minded to listen and to try. For carers who are unpaid maybe the new pieces of equipment out there will be better. Please check out this research and also the equipment.

http://www.independentliving.co.uk/moving-handling-it-takes-two/

I am lucky enough now to be able to go to an awareness session to understand more about using equipment suitable for one carer to do. I am open minded regarding if it works and how it will benefit. I feel at times people are sat waiting for 2 carers to turn up (I witness this at one care company and it was very distressing to see a lady desperate to use the facilities and couldn’t as other carer hadn’t turned up). Also the amount of times I have had to tell people to not talk over a person to each other about their own bloody lives. So if this stops that then surely its worth a go. SAFELY, RESPECTFULLY and INCLUSIVELY .

Working together will help and will ensure the BEST OUTCOME BASED CARE

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Its been a while (I’ve Lacked inspiration)

So its been a while since I even tried to post something on here, no real excuse except the inspiration needed to try to write something appealing has been missing! 😦

I can blame my work in some way for my lack of get up and write attitude (as its lost) as its been all consuming in an emotional way. Trying to fit into a team that is established can be difficult and has been difficult. So now I have decide to leave the College and try freelance work again (scary). This is another try at establishing enough work that gives me some feeling of achievement.

What I know is that  I love care work (its been part of my life since I was 18) and love being able to go into homes/companies and support and nurture potential but its getting less easy as companies are not valuing the training needed for their staff. Cutting corners and reducing staff, only using distant learning and rarely having someone come in and train their team. So I am at a loss how my role can alter this mentality, how can I now impact on these people if their own company does not value their development. Now of course this is a sweeping statement but sadly in so many companies this is true. Yes I have been to places that are great and seem to value their team and also their clients but sadly at present this is less then it should be so for people like me this is somewhat soul destroying as I feel teaching and learning in care is as important as any industry. Care is a multi million pound industry yet it has lost its value in the society.

So my inspiration is going to have to come from somewhere else and now I need to find it.  Just going to get up and look around and evaluate what I want to do and why I want to do something. Shockingly I even find myself reflecting on my choices with my career and see what made me take the path. One question I always know how to answer is;  what do you want to achieve?  Easy to answer as I want to achieve appreciation for carer/support workers/ care assistants or whatever role there is in care. I want to achieve the respect for the care industry to be able to finding the good news stories more readily then the bad stories  respect.

So for now I just want time to decide and time to evaluate. I hope I will be able to post more often and have more interesting things to report/say. Its going to be an interesting few months I think.

ONWARD ONCE MORE!! So Come on pull up a chair and value the view and join me in the crusade to bring care once more into the light of positivity. 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

 

Back to the basics of Talking about care

Care is not a cool subject to discuss it seems, in the public eye or in their ears as they seem to just hear about the poor care that goes on out there. I am aware that some care homes are not up to standards and some employers have a lot to learn but the on the ground level carers who chose to do this job are being devalued.

We have to see social care as important as clinical care. Just because the care workers or carers may not have a degree or doctorate or a nursing qualification does not mean they are less important or valuable. Until the government value the work people do care will always have bad press or be seen as a job people fall into (I remember someone saying anyone can do OMG no not true) . I get that people think its a job that fits please do not go into care work because it just fits. We need compassion, passion, confidence, nurturing and empathy attributes to enable the people that are vulnerable to be supported in everyday life, whether that is at the start of life or and the end of life.

I have had the honour of supporting people within care, some at the start of finding their independence and others at the most vulnerable times of their life’s. I look back and some of the things we changed over the years to ensure the people we supported had a voice is remarkable and I believe continues in many care providers (we just don’t sing our own praises).

Many of these carers, care workers are getting minimum pay to care for all our loved ones or to care for us in the future. I ask you what price can be put on that. There has to be some sliding scale and in care there must be a different minimum wage surely.

I have just seen a post on another site I am a member of and its made me think about the lonely world at time when you are caring for a family member and how isolating it can be. I hope this lady does not mind but she noted in her post that she felt invisible within her life and that she is ‘just a carer’. I would like to say ‘just a carer’ is really not a title I like, the just bit is an injustice and I am telling you out there that anyone who is a carer the word just should never be used ahead of the word. You are a carer which I would title as a very important person who enables, encourages, guides, supports, loves, cares, fights, communicates and stands out in a crowd for the person you care for. A lot of the time you are selfless and forget about you so I am telling you in a very nice tone, we do not forget you, we see you and we hear you. Never ever feel isolated or invisible as we are grateful for the work you tirelessly do and at times it must be terrifying of what your day will bring but all I can say is hold on to your strength that you most certainly have and remember you will get through this and there will be the light and the hope.

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Poem of loss and allow your grieve to come out.

Hold tight let the tears flow

Your loss will hurt

The pain will grip you

Allow yourself to feel

Hold tight let the tears flow.

Think of the joy they brought

Think of the hope they showed you

Hold tight let the tears flow.

Think of the memories

Think of the pictures you have stored in you mind

Think of that smile, that belly giggle

Hold tight let the tears flow.

Think of the past

Think of the future

Hold tight let the tears flow.

Remember the love so that it will never be forgotten

Remember the hope and the kindness

Remember the unique person who was lost.

Open your eyes

See the stars

The brightest one will be yours

You will find the strength to help you on this long journey

Hold tight let the tears fade away.

Dementia and helping children to understand.

Just felt the need to share this great book that may support people who have children who are trying to understand what is happening to a grandparent or parent, friends etc.

It’s worth a look and certainly worth talking to children before they have to deal with anyone they know who may have Dementia.

http://www.carehome.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1570270/childrens-book-tells-story-lovely-old-lion-with-alzheimers

Positive Delay for care funding.

After last week and the pay-rise saga for the MP’s I feel this is a positive step. However, lets think about it a 10% pay rise was given to MP’s if that was passed to the care industry then there would not have to be the following cuts at all. Please read.

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2015/jul/17/care-costs-cap-delay-government-urged-to-resolve-funding-crisis

Carers Please Remember You are supporting Vulnerable People

Carers Please Remember You are supporting Vulnerable Peoplekeep-calm-and-vent-your-frustrations

A little rant alert: As someone who supported individuals in their everyday life’s, going out for days working in the home and generally supporting with communication and full inclusion. I am appalled that I just witnessed clearly a carer/support worker pushing an individual in a wheelchairs whilst talking loudly on her phone and totally Ignoring the person she is supporting. Omg why are you not talking to the actual person and you are most likely paid to support. Come on this is a core value. It’s unacceptable and clearly this was a personal call as I could hear every word. If you can’t do the basic then don’t do the job.

Rant over x