A day in the life of a care worker
Working as a care worker with Independent Lives is a really rewarding role. No two days are the same and you will get to meet some great people.
Bright and early
I start my day early and drive to meet my colleague who I will be working with. Then we drive to meet our first visit for the day.
Our first stop is Betty. She can't come to the door and lives alone so we access the safe key using the code on her care plan and let ourselves in.
I have an early start today which I like but my colleagues do all kinds of shifts and hours. Independent Lives are really flexible with their staff though of course we always have to make sure the people we support have what they need.
A helping hand
We're provided with all the equipment and training that we need to do our jobs safely. We're also backed up by a really experienced office team.
We help Betty to get out of bed, go to the toilet, shower and get dressed. Sandra helps Betty to take her medication while I make her some toast.
Betty is feeling chatty today and as we help her into her favourite chair we catch up and Betty tells us about her life. I love we get to meet such interesting people in the job and I have grown really fond of Betty.
We are coming back to see Betty at lunch time today but for now we say goodbye and head to our next appointment.
We make careful notes of everything we do with the people we support. Careful record keeping and planning is a really important part of the job.
We use an app on our phones to manage our work. It lets us know who we're seeing and when. We can read everything we need to know about the person we are supporting and we can even use the app to let the office staff know that we have arrived safely at an appointment.
The app is really easy to use but we're never alone. The office team is really helpful and we always have someone who we can call if we are stuck with anything.
Dignity and respect
Everyone we support is different. We are going into their home and their lives so it's really important that we are flexible and do things in a way that works for them.
We might see ten different people in a day and all of them are different. We go and see Raymond who is much more independent than our first visit.
We help him to shower and shave. He does most of this himself but we pass him the items he needs. Raymond really values his independence so we only help where we need to. Dignity is so important to the people we support.
Raymond lives with his wife and they are going out visit their daughter. They tell us that they won't need our support again today. We update Raymond records and say goodbye.
Behind the scenes
We're backed up by a really helpful and response office team. Even if we're working out of hours, there is always someone available for us to speak to if we need it.
We continue to see clients all morning before heading into the Independent Lives office. We don't go to the office everyday as we spend most of our time out and about but it's always welcoming when we do.
Today I need to pick up some bits and pieces that I've run out of. I need some face masks and hand sanitiser, and I'm picking up a new uniform. I personally like our purple tops and we can have hoodies and rain coast if we want them.
We're all given rucksacks when we join with loads of useful things in them. We have reusable water bottles, first aid kits and flash lights to name a few.
The people we support have a wide range of health care needs. Sometimes people's health gets worse and we have to be ready to deal with that if it happens.
Our first visit this afternoon is to Tony. We check his care records before we arrive to see the latest updates. The records tell us that Tony recently had a fall and has been struggling to get around.
Today we find him in good spirits though. If we were ever concerned about someone we were supporting then we have everything we need to deal with the situation. It can be hard but we have lots of training and we have great colleagues who can help us when we need it.
Going the extra mile
The care we provide is really comprehensive but sometimes people need a little bit more. We're always on the look out for things that can improve the lives of those we support.
One of our afternoon visits is to a woman called Andrea. Andrea lives alone but has family all over the world. She tells us that it can get lonely with her children so far away.
I remember about a new service offering digital skills training to people. I ask if she'd like someone to come and show her how to make video calls with her children.
A quick call to the office and Andrea is all booked in for some extra support. It won't cost her anything and she'll learn some great new skills while staying connected with her family and friends. A great result.
Behind the scenes
It can be easy to take our health for granted. Even some of the most mundane task can become a real challenge to someone who is struggling with their health.
We do all kinds of things as part of our work. Anything from taking the bins out to making sure someone has taken their medication.
Some of the tasks may seem trivial but they are so important for someone who wants to stay in their own home and maintain a sense of dignity and independence.
I see the impact that our work has on people every single day and it really makes me smile.
End of the day
I'm tired but feel really satisfied. I know that the work that I have done today has made a real impact on the people I have met and I love the feeling I get from doing something really important.
I work for Independent Lives full time but my colleagues do all kinds of shifts and hours. Some are also students or have their own families to care for.
We're all from different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common. We are all really caring people and we love working with people.
I'm off home to relax now. I have tomorrow of work because it's my birthday. I'll still be getting paid though, just one of the perks for working for a charity like Independent Lives.