I am naturally caring by nature and like looking after others, so it was a career that always interested me. It is very rewarding to give someone a better quality of life. I also feel strongly there is no place like home and live-in care is a hugely positive alternative to care homes for elderly people. The live-in lifestyle suits me because it means I have no overheads and can save for the future. I also love spending time with the elderly – talking to them, cooking for them and generally making their lives happier and more enriched.
I have worked for a wide variety of live-in clients including individuals, married couples and in two carer placements; in London and in the countryside. Many of them had dementia, or were physically frail and needed help with personal care and dressing. But, what they all had in common was the need for support and companionship – something that I find very fulfilling to provide!
Typical working patterns for a live-in carer are seven days a week with at least two hours off every day. Depending on the client’s needs, some placements have more down time during the day than others and there is usually some free time in the evenings. Each placement lasts about six to eight weeks on average and there is usually flexibility to take time off for study or travel in between placements.
Because many of the Care Managers at Trinity have previously been live-in carers themselves, they really understand what it takes to be a live-in carer. They are very supportive, helpful and knowledgeable and are always on hand for advice or just a friendly chat. The rates of pay are excellent for Trinity and they have an excellent reputation in the market place; offering a comprehensive, personalised service that carefully matches clients to live-in carers for the most harmonious placements possible.
What I find most rewarding is my work makes a real difference to people’s lives; helping them to achieve independence and maintain their dignity throughout their twilight years. I can bring cheerfulness, good company and conversation to someone who is alone or isolated and at the same time, I get to meet interesting people with fascinating life stories.
Sometimes the work can be intense and demanding, especially if a client has advanced dementia or immobility issues. Occasionally you can feel isolated at times from friends and family, so it’s essential to make the most of your planned time off. What can also be challenging is constantly maintaining patience, understanding and compassion. But the rewards are great, so this can spur you on!
I would say the most important attributes are patience, kindness, positivity, common sense and tolerance. It also takes compassion, empathy, dedication and a non-judgemental attitude. I have also found, with many clients, that it helps to be a good home cook!