I’ve worked here for four and a half years now. I did telesales before that, and then bar work. I don’t know why I decided to start care work really, I’ve just always worked with people and I like that.
The satisfaction you get is amazing. It’s 24/7 care here, but I work days. I like getting here, doing a day’s work and then getting home and having family time. Most of the actual job is housework, that’s the main part of it. You want things to be clean and safe, it’s their home. You always get close to the residents, it's really hard to lose them. They’re just like family.
I look at it like we’re intruders, we’re going into their home so we have to do our best to fit in and make them happy. They trust you, and their family trust you to look after them properly. If we can make their day with even a little thing, make them laugh, make them feel seen. That’s why I don’t wear a uniform, I want everyone to feel like we’re all the same, not ‘us and them’. It makes the atmosphere more relaxed, and you can have a laugh and be their friend.
We’re trying to get them out once a week for trips. We went to Amble for fish and chips last week, ended up being the whole day but it was great. This week we went to Morpeth and did some shopping, all just normal activities that you can help them with. You want to make the whole environment as much like a normal home and a normal life as possible.
I left school with no qualifications, I think I’ve got more over the last four years than I ever got in school. The training opportunities are really good.
You need patience to work in this career definitely, and a lot of empathy. You need to know how to treat people well, and want to make their day better.