Many, many years ago I started my caring duties while starting to establish my mobile dog grooming business. I had moved back to Hampshire after the split with my husband and a brief spell running a grooming parlour in Sussex. I had decided to set up a mobile business but obviously in the early days I needed a second job. I had no home any more in Hampshire so lodged with friends. To supplement my income I took a job in a retirement home three nights a week. I had no experience in nursing, caring or anything similar and certainly no training. There were about 14 residents of varying degrees of health and mental capacity. I remember a delightful couple who were blind and they were so interesting to talk to. They were widely travelled and had many stories to tell. I was responsible for all the residents during the night on my own, there was supposed to be a second person but in all the time I was there nobody turned up, even back then it was against the law.
Not once did I lose my temper or treat them roughly even if they were ill, sleepless or unable to settle and I am appalled by yet another report today of a care home having to suspend staff. Surely this is the fault of the managers, when you interview someone for such a position don’t they take particular care on the nature of these applicants and follow it up with many background checks. If they are abusing people now and have been employed in a similar position before it must have happened before.
In recent years by default I have cared for an elderly (doubly incontinent)lady and two ladies who have subsequently passed both from cancer, whilst sometimes very tired and stressed I never took it out on my responsibilities. I now care for my mother which I may add is twice as difficult than someone else’s mother, and frequently I am tired and suffering from cabin fever as I am not able to just jump in the car and disappear for a few hours.
Pay is very good for caring but it should reflect the quality of care given and I mention again what interview process do these carers have to go through, because whatever it is it isn’t working in some place.