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Our office is based in a renovated mill building in the vibrant community of Beeston, just a short drive from the White Rose Centre. It’s the hub of our Leeds service – where all of our care packages are carefully coordinated, our new carers are given their induction training, and you’re guaranteed a good Yorkshire brew. For those travelling to our office by car, there’s ample free parking.
I was looking after my Grandma, who’s got dementia, so I’ve always cared for family anyway. I’ve also got two young girls to look after. Before I applied, I used to think care meant working around the clock, but when I finally went in and talked to a few people, I realised it didn’t have to be like that.
My mum used to be a carer when I was younger, and what with my Grandma getting dementia, I wanted to learn more about how to deal with certain situations. You get told by doctors that dementia comes in different forms and nobody knows what the outcome’s going to be at the start. But I wanted to experience that for myself and learn the different ways of caring for someone with dementia.
Be Caring were very helpful – it wasn’t about what they needed, instead they listened to what I could give them. When they sent me an offer, I took the job straight away!
Because I see dementia in so many different forms – anything from slight forgetfulness to forgetting to eat – I feel I know a lot more about it now. I also did a mini-dementia course with Be Caring and learned a lot about how the brain works. It’s helped me better look after my Grandma, which is a good thing as she’s said she doesn’t want carers even though I tell her that’s what I do!
I’ve done a lot of reading online to try and understand what it’s like to have dementia. It helped me one day when I went into someone’s house and they wouldn’t walk into the kitchen. I thought, ‘there has to be more to this’. A lot of the research I did said that if the floor was shiny or a dark colour, then someone with dementia might see that as water or a hole in the floor. It made me realise they were experiencing something I couldn’t see.
I’ve recently taken on the role of team coach where I support other Care Workers. I also carry out ‘Be Supported’ meetings where together we look at any additional support our Care Workers need. Feeling supported is really important. If it’s your first time at someone’s house, you don’t know what to expect, so having a little chat beforehand and going through what to expect can help new carers feel more relaxed. A little bit of information goes a long way!
Building trust takes time – people like to know who’s stepping into their house, so I always take an interest in them and share information from my life too. It’s a very personal job. The people we care for need to know who we are and what we’re like. I’ll always put myself in their shoes and imagine how I’d feel if a stranger with a key to my house just stepped through the front door! That’s my biggest advice to any new carer – put yourself in their shoes.
A lot of people have been independent all their lives, so to have someone come in and do everything for them is hard. Occasionally, at first, someone won’t want me there. When that happens, I always sit down with them and reassure them it’s their home. I won’t do anything they don’t want me to do. Knowing that you understand how they feel goes a long way. They’ve got to trust you in their home. They’ve got to trust you’re there for them, even if it’s just for half an hour. It’s about them.
In Leeds, we offer person-centred domiciliary home care, so that the people who we support can remain in their own homes. They are often coping with challenging conditions, recovering from illness and may require assistance with mobility.
We support with personal care, medication administration and often meal preparation. Sometimes simply offering a listening ear and smiling face each day can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of the people we care for. Typically, we support the people we care for with tasks such as:
We are always on the lookout for talented, friendly people who – like us – are truly passionate about care and want to make a real difference to the lives of others.
Do you want to play a part in shaping the future of social care?
We’re looking for passionate people who genuinely care, with a will to make a difference. We offer excellent support, training and exciting career opportunities.
We’re employee-owned, meaning profits don’t come first – people do.