Job title Carer
Working at the Almshouses: Since 2010
1. What does your job entail?
I provide personal care and support to ensure people are safe and well and that the environment in which they live in is clean and tidy. My work is helping people – helping them to get up in the morning, to go to bed in the evening, to prepare meals, to take their medicine and to make sure that they have the support they need to travel to various places within the Almshouses so they can take part in activities.
2. What were you doing before you came to the Almshouses?
When I left school I studied childcare at college for two years and after that I worked for a year as a nursery nurse – but it wasn’t for me.
I decided to join an agency that offered a range of caring opportunities and as a result I realised I wanted to specialise in home care. I joined a private home care agency operating in the Woodbridge area – I worked for them for a year and then I got the job at the Almshouses. Now I feel very happy and settled.
3. What was your first day like?
It was very friendly – the first day I did a lot of training but straight away I knew I’d done the right thing – this was the place for me and this was the work I wanted to do.
4. What do you most enjoy about your work at the Almshouses?
I enjoy spending time with the people who live here, getting to know them and hearing about their lives and their families. It’s a very rewarding occupation seeing everybody smiling and knowing that you have cheered people up who may not be feeling very well or who are missing their family.
5. What impact do you think your work is having?
My work is important because it has a significant impact on the quality of people’s lives. Being here and doing what we do means we reduce the stress of survival which people experience as they get older.
6. What sort of training have you had?
First aid, dementia, manual handling, medication, food hygiene, health and safety, fire safety and preventing adult abuse. I am also studying for my diploma level 2 in health and social care.
7. What changes have you seen during your time at the Almshouses?
I’ve seen a lot of change –but what I’ve noticed the most is that new people moving into the Almshouses have greater care needs than they did even two years ago. People are choosing to stay in their own homes for much longer than they used to. When they decide they need the support the Almshouses provide, they are that much older with more complex needs.
8. What about the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I would like to be a senior in what I am doing but I really enjoy the practical ‘doing’ side of my job – I can’t imagine being a manager and spending time in an office.
9. What is the nicest thing anyone has said to you about your work at the Almshouses?
Many people have complimented me for my smile, bringing happiness to their lives. They have also commented that my best quality is being a good listener which they say makes them feel valued as people.