I first chose live-in care work to gain some work experience as part of my training as an Occupational Therapist. However, after my first placement, I loved it so much I knew it wasn’t going to be just a one-off! I found it so rewarding and flexible that I decided to continue as a live-in carer, permanently, and I also enjoyed the opportunities it gave me to see so many different places.
Such a wide variety! Every placement is different; I have worked for single people and couples, for people in the countryside and in the city, for people with large families and for people with no family at all. I like the variety that the job brings, both in terms of client and location.
I normally work on placements that last about six to eight weeks, working seven days in a row with two hours away from the home, as a break, each day. But I have also found that there is plenty of down time during the day, giving me a great opportunity to study. Occasionally, I will work a six and a half day week if family members visit or if the couple want time on their own for a while.
The team at Trinity is great! They are all so supportive and experienced and they’re always just a phone call away. From little things to bigger issues, they are always happy to listen and advise.
I have been a live-in carer for over three years now and love the fact that I provide an alternative option for elderly people as opposed to them going into a care home or moving in with relatives. I feel that they really appreciate this because they get to stay where they want to be – in their own home. You get to forge a close friendship with the client you are with, brightening up their days and their life.
It can be emotionally demanding if you are working with a very confused dementia client. Sometimes they need things repeating so that they understand why you are there and how you are trying to help them. However, the work is still incredibly rewarding and you know that you are improving their quality of life.
It takes kindness and compassion to care for people in their own homes and to understand their point of view and needs. You also need to have a sense of humour and be a good listener as clients often want to talk about their lives and have interesting stories to tell.