Clare has been a Community Care Assistant at Deben Willow Care since June 2015.Whilst having over 20 years experience in the care sector. So why does she do it? We spoke with Clare to find out what Community Care means to her.
Tell us why you got into the care industry?
When I was younger, everyone always told me I was older than my years. My mum got me a job in a nursing home when I was younger and I was there for 3 and a half years and absolutely loved it. My mum worked quite a lot too, so from an early age I had to learn how to deal with my dad's diabetes which he has had since he was a little boy, I also spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. Caring just came naturally to me.
What does being a Community Care Assistant mean to you?
Being a Community Care Assistant means that individuals of any age in need of care and support can get all their care needs met in the comfort of their own homes. That I will be responsible for delivering care to the highest possible standard. I undertake as much training as I can to further my knowledge and understanding. There are and will be many times when we are asked for advice and support and we need to be as qualified as we can be to be able to give that. We have a very responsible role, taking care of other people's family members and being trusted in their homes.
What do you love about being a Community Care Assistant?
Many things. I go home knowing I've done a good days work, knowing I've made a difference to lots of peoples lives. I've also met some amazing people during my many years in this role. This job is not a job you should do just for the money. It should be a vocation, you should want to do it. It's very rewarding and I have many different reasons to smile at the end of every day. The best part of my day is, all of it. I can't pin point any one thing, I love my job and I give it my all to a very high standard every day.
How do you think it benefits people being at home rather than in residential care?
It's more comfortable as they're in their own homes, surrounded by all their own belongings, in an environment they know and feel safe in. They may have lived there with a spouse/partner and this is where they feel close to them. They have choices at home, they can decide daily what care they want. Residential care settings, in my experience, can be very regimental. In their own homes they can decide for themselves, within reason. Sometimes we do need to adapt our approach and encourage personal care for their benefit and comfort.
What changes would you like to see in the Care Industry?
I think the government should enhance our income, so carers are paid what they are worth. We save the government millions of pounds each year by keeping individuals in their own homes. Despite enhanced DBS checks, there are still 'bad' carers in the industry. Sad, but true. There should be in my opinion better measures in place to prevent this happening.
I also don't agree that elderly people should have to pay for their own care. They've worked hard their whole lives, paying into the system, they shouldn't have to use their life savings to provide basic care needs, this is money they have earned/saved for their final years and for their families when they are gone.
What do you think of Clare story? We love to hear you share your experiences and views with us!