“My name is Sally and I am a live in carer. I work with Jim who has had a live in carer for a while now. He has poor eyesight and has dementia. He lives on his own, however he has a really supportive family who visit regularly and they are happy their father has someone around.”
No day is ever the same. My day will usually start around 7am and I will have my morning cup of tea. Jim will get up to see what I am doing shortly after and he often joins me for breakfast, this routine works well. I spend a lot of my day keeping the house the same so Jim can get about. We sit together and open the morning post, I read this out to Jim and help him manage this. When Jim feels ready I encourage him to wash and have his morning shave, this is important to him which he still does himself, he then gets himself dressed with a bit of help.
I have a quick tidy up and I get Jim’s medication ready which he takes. I just check this is managed correctly so he remains as independent as possible and keeps well. We like to keep the routine going and this works well for Jim as without me doing the little things, there is a chance Jim wouldn’t eat, or drink enough. We talk about food a lot as this gives me ideas of what to cook. I have found out Jim likes his cooked breakfast and this used to be a weekend treat so I keep this going for Jim and at weekends we cook a breakfast. Jim will help me with this.
It’s important I am flexible and easy going as each day can change. Jim has a lot of visitors. I found out that he is sociable and played a strong role in his community. This is a positive thing and I like to encourage Jim to keep busy with his friends and family. I know that Jim can find this hard, so I make sure they have everything they need so Jim can feel able to relax and enjoy this time. I often put the radio on for Jim as through our chats I know this was something he enjoyed a lot.
Spending one-to-one time with Jim means that I have gotten to know Jim well, I can recognise when Jim is not feeling well. I am able to work with Jim to see what he wants, whether it’s to get up and about, or rest. The choice is his. I can also contact the doctor on Jim’s behalf if needed.
I know Jim was worried about having a carer in his home, we have really worked on his care plan which has helped look at what works well for Jim. Since having a live in carer, I know Jim now feels safe, more comfortable and really enjoys the company. It was also important for Jim’s family that he had some help on-hand and they enjoy their time when visiting instead of worrying. Jim was involved in the care planning every step of the way and that means that his care and support plan suits his needs. We can also identify any changes to his needs so the care plan can be adapted as and when necessary.
Originally Jim’s family spoke to our live in care manager and he started the care with the ‘test and see’ service, I went along for 4 days. This meant no commitment from Jim and he was able to see what it was like. Jim and I got on well and he could already see the benefits of the service and I became one of Jim’s regular carers.