So this week has been one of those weeks that have caused stress and unrest within my world of work. I am freelance assessor within the care field and this weeks the company I freelance for may now need to change. It has implications as there is no guarantee the new company will want a freelance assessor so things are a little up in the air.
So what have a been doing to ensure work continues and I earn a living, well firstly I have kicked myself up the arse and pushed for my training to be fully completed with induction and moving and handling so I can go in to companies and train correct practice. I’ve been ensuring all my learners will be ok if I can not continue (I would be gutted). I have been organising the next couple of weeks to ensure I am on target and prepared to move forward.
Saturday I went to an open event at a new care home/nursing home where I chatted to some of the family and clients about why I value care and I loved it just promoting care and training. I met Gloria Hunniford (didn’t feel right to get a selfie).
Sunday arrives (Mother’s Day). My children as alway give me beautiful cards (daughter as always sorted the boys) and flowers. I then spent the day appreciating what I have the sun helped and my wonderful husband to be. Sat relaxing in the garden just chilling looking at our garden and realising how much work we have put in. It was so perfect, birds flitting in and out of the garden and the daffodils swaying in the breeze. The aroma of a roast dinner being cooked by my daughter and a glass of vino. I realised in that moment I am so lucky. I have children I am very proud of, a husband to be who loves me for me and a bright future ahead. Simplicity is sometimes best and as my man would say ‘simples’.
So the point to this was to try to get all to see that sometime ‘simples’ is enough and that if today you are missing your mum, whether due to them not being here anymore or if they are lost in the world of Dementia they will always be you mum, mummy, mother not your best friend your mum the one who either carried you or chose you, they are mums.
Mums come in all shapes and all sizes. They can be mothers, grandmother, aunts, sisters, friends or they can be Dads doing a mums role as well as their own. So please just take a moment to appreciate what you have, had or even what you are going to have.
Happy Mother’s Day one and all. But bigger then that don’t wait just for Mother’s Day to appreciate your ‘mother’ any day is ok to just say thank you.
I am sure there are going to be a lot of these predictable new years posts but it has to be done and it has to be done well.
So here goes:
2016 what did you give to me.
January you gave me a graduate as my gorgeous daughter graduated from Derby University. A very proud moment.
February was a quiet month but still but I got to sea seals on the beach in Norfolk with my wonderful friend ‘Kinky’ or Kate if you need her real name.
March was a busy time just getting out and about and meeting up with friends.The mask picture was a game of pin the cucumber on the hunk (you had to be there).
April was all about the gardening and family time. The big garden was commenced and a pop to Lowerstoft to see mum and dad.
May the gardening became a massive build or should I say demolition, poor Alan ended up on his back with me giggling. Love continued.
June was all about the queens birthday and a mission to try and get the community together which was not a great success but we had great time with the usual bunch of people.
July was about big weekend, time alone with Cameron in Norfolk, checking out the botanic gardens to see where we will have our wedding photos and then barbecue in the new look garden.
August was a trip to Scotland with some great friends who fell in love with the scenery. We had an amazing week,lucky with the weather and lovely place to stay. It was also the month when cucumbers and tomatoes grew beautifully.
September was a first for me going to my very first festival and then meeting Paddy of Emerdale. The parents visiting which was lovely and I got my heron photo. It was a good month. There was much sadness in September also which a number of my friends had to deal with and they dealt with their sadness with such dignity and strength.
October was a charity event time for breast cancer when planning it I was just thinking back at Valerie the real founder of the title to my blog but then how would I have known it would then be news that would be hard for all with my niece being diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a great night and every penny will count. I then had a visit to bakewell with my lovely friend and her children.
November was a month where things were a little quieter but with a great night thrown in at Gin of the Rocks. Night at the museum and more gardening for Alan.
Now we come to December where we had the best time and the most fun just spending this month with family and friends. So no we have got to 31/12/16 a little poorly so no going out but what I do have is 2017 to look forward to and I can’t wait.
Good bye 2016 and welcome with bells on 2017. We have a wedding, more babies due and people to fight hard to ensure they get well. So positive vibes required and celebrations to be focused on.
Happiness, Health and Love I wish all.
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 care. Yes its 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 cause 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 been told that I would need to practice ducking and I just laughed at that comment not understanding the real implications unit 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 seem to want to avoid as they were deemed as ‘challenging’ and they were but finding a chink in their armour to allow you in was the best feeling and I was lucky enough to be able to do this. 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.
There have been many of a story that have lit up my smile due to the actual situations I found myself in many of them bodily fluid stories, many of them achievements people managed but many of them were just someone being unique.
If you could see care in colour oh my goodness the rainbow would not be enough.
If you heard it in a sound then it would be all the chords, notes you can think of going of at once.
So what I ask is that you focus on these stories of joy, amusment, uniquiness and inclusion and share them with respect. Remember on the harder days its 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 🙂
Its a funny as a person who worked in care generally all my adult life and now work as an assessor/trainer in Health and Social Care, I sometimes think where is the care. Its strange but there are people that are working within care because ‘it fits’. Is this really the reason we want people looking after our loved ones, for me I am not sure.
I’ve questioned this before and as much I don’t want people to choose working in care for this reason solely it is a reason and justified ‘fits’ means ‘of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose’ so actually not a bad definition. We all have life’s and we all have people we may have to take responsibility for and working in an industry that can allow us to be flexible surely is an OK reason to work in care. Its more suitable or acceptable to use the above words of I work in care to care for people. Its sounds all rose coloured and pretty don’t you think?
Now this is where I want to bring in Care and the meaning of care ‘he provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something’ so in actual fact not massively far removed from ‘fits’. I can get by thinking when someone says fits are they thinking of quality (see definition) surely they are! Also ‘required purpose’ which could be to deliver best practice care.
Sadly and here I go fits is just not for me. When I interview someone please don’t tell me you reason for applying is to say it fits with childcare and that’s your reason. I know its important but surely the reason should be about the practice of care. I meet carers within my job and at present I have to say I am lucky to have a great group of Learners who yes need it to ‘fit’ but through that I can see they are choosing ‘care’ to provide a service that is of quality.
So please think of your reason for going into the care industry, public opinion maybe that its ‘wiping and cleaning people’ but I promise you its so much more. Yes it can ‘fit’ but its so much more then that, it should be an honour to provide support to someone who can’t or struggles to complete everyday task. Its about well being, its about people, its about progress, rehabilitation, its about end of life. So please think long and hard before choosing care as a career. Please don’t choose it just because you can.
What can I say I’ve neglected my blog, just seems less time to think and write. However, have been to Scotland and then to my very first festival. Also lots of work in the garden at weekends but clearly not in my 20’s or even 30’s for that matter as I ache.
So Scotland was amazing, beautiful as always I love it. One day we will be moving to Scotland but for now its enough to visit just wish time would allow us more visits.
The festival not even sure what to say, I last 45 years not going to a festival and then I went. Well it was great fun but camping is not for me. Embrace were fabulous and it was a nice surprise meeting the stars of Emmerdale. Paddy we loved him.
Then the gardening well lets just say we have done wonders and we still have more to do, lots of trips to the tip.
Save the dates have nearly all gone out. Wedding 2017!
Now to work well Assessing is good, my contact with some lovely learners make it easier to do my job. As usual paperwork and politics always have a negative baring on how much you enjoy your role. Still for me if I can impart one piece of information to enable someone to do their job better and then ultimately the care should be better.
No I am going to set myself a task that by the end of the year I will have completed a well being week. I want to do this and was suppose to do it in August but time and other commitments placed it on a back burner. What I ask myself is why did I not find the time? I placed well-being second and I need to address the balance.
So I will do and I will ask for stories to be shared regarding well being and mental health. Trying to lift the darkness on being able to talk about suicide is my aim.
So until then hope all are well and those carers out there are keeping themselves well.
Love long love strong and hold tight things sometimes will seem unbearable but please talk, chat, open up, share and most of all if your a person who is been told ‘LISTEN’
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.
Well its Autumn here and I love the colours you find when walking. Love the warmth feeling it makes you feel even if its a chilly day. Its just a lovely season. Everyone should take a moment to take a wander through the leaves that have fallen from the trees, Hearing the crisps leaves beneath your feet. Take a look at the colours and the patterns mapped out on the leaves, look up to see the leaves hanging on to the tree or as they fall watch them glide to the ground. Just take a moment. The news can be dark and miserable, with politicians making decisions that affect so many and I know this will not fix things but for a moment you will see beauty and it may just give you a smile for a while.
Wow! what a great day today I have had at work, well not exactly at work, at a conference with an amazing guest Professor Winston. He was simply brilliant, inspiring and just simply engaging. What he had to say about health care was spot on and that there is a way to go to get it right and we can not really plan to what will happen. Yes people are living longer and therefore more care is going to be required. One of the most heart wrenching but comforting things he shared was that there is proof that someone who maybe in a coma or lost due to another condition can seemingly hear you. So those words you say have to be caring, loving, nurturing and encouraging when talking to someone who is silent.
So as I see it, time is now to get care right, to improve care for all, to nurture potential that is out there and value the people who are caring and supporting our most very vulnerable people (our loved ones). Yes! I hear the cry there are many carers who do an amazing job but why are you not telling people about it and sharing these good news stories. The requirements need to be changed to not have people just relevantly trained we need people properly trained, from 16 onwards to provide care. Soft skills (how to communicate, how to work as team and what values are) are just as important as knowing how to administer medication for one example. I am not saying you need a degree but I am saying you need some formal training to support people. You need to show you can support someone in a way they want to be cared for or supported. Lets hear peoples needs and lets observe what they want.
The other day I wrote a poem but after today I changed it. I hope it resonates with people (I am not a poet or writer so please bare with).
Please see me
When you look at me
What do you see?
When you talk to me
What do you hear?
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
All I ask is,
Don’t ignore me
Know that what you say I can hear
I maybe silent but I am here.
I am not who I was
I am not who I thought I was
I am lost
I am hidden
So I ask you
Please look at me
Please see me
Please talk to me
I wish I could answer.
Please listen hard
Please seek me out, I am here.
Please see past my silence
See past the shell
See me for who I was and not just who I am now.