I’ve been relatively quiet on here over the past month- 6 weeks. There are several reasons for this. In mid-October, my Nan passed away, at the age of 93. I hadn’t seen her a lot in recent years and certainly not since the Covid outbreak. Part of the reason I’d not seen her was that my aunt was living with her. There’s been a bit of a rift in the family since it seemed to a few of us that my aunt was getting a foot-hold on my Nan’s home. I found it hard having a conversation without my aunt being around.
Suffice to say, I felt pretty guilty not having seen my Nan in a long time. She didn’t want a funeral as such, which given the current circumstances would not have been possible in any case. My mum told me that Nan was being cremated, and her ashes would go in an urn to go with my granddad’s (her late husband). So at least she could be reunited with him.
In other news, my father-in-law’s health has deteriorated. He lives at the other end of the country, so we wanted to visit him and my step-mother-in-law during the half-term break. He’s still in the hospital recovering from a stroke. We hope he’ll be back home before Christmas, but he’ll require lots of specialist equipment, including a new bed, wheelchair and other mobility aids. Mr Bunny visited his father daily whilst we were on our break. The visits were hampered not only by my father-in-law’s aphasia but also having to talk through a window, as we couldn’t go into the hospital due to the Covid restrictions.
Around the same time that I’d lost my Nan, I started a new job in care work. Quite ironic really. I guess I went into it thinking I needed a ‘back-up’ to my other job in case I got made redundant due to Covid. Being new to care work, and also not having worked many hours a week in the past 7-8 years, I’ve found the commuting and the work itself pretty tiring.
Many ways to care
The type of job I have is flexible hours. There are key shift patterns of either mornings or afternoons/evenings. I’ve opted to do mornings so that Mr Bunny can take our mini bunny to school, and then I do the afternoon pick-up. I visit clients in their own homes and assist them according to their individual care plan. There is an app to document all the notes from each visit, and we ‘log-in’ to the calls via the client’s telephone or via text message to the office.
Some visits require carers to partner up if we’re using equipment such as hoists, or if the client is bed-bound. In a visit, we have a half-hour or 45 minutes to provide personal care such as helping with washing and getting dressed. Alongside that, we may be helping to administer medications. We may need to prepare meals or do light housework around the home. The clients all differ in their personalities as to be expected. Some I’ve laughed with, and they’ve been easy to work with. There are others who have health conditions that make them more challenging. They might need calming down if they’re upset or confused. Reassurance and patience are necessary for those who have difficulty communicating their needs.
It’s a real mixed bag so to speak, and then there’s the challenge of navigating through residential areas during the lockdown. I’ve had last-minute cancellations of visits due to the client being hospitalised, or being out at another appointment. In the past week, I’ve seen a long-Covid client walk some steps, and then have the frustration of a broken toe to hamper them. But I know that they’re determined to walk, so this setback won’t hold them back for long, I’m sure.
It’s still early days in my new ‘career,’ so I’m taking each day as it comes, and trying to remain as flexible as I can. I’m being careful to set boundaries though, as I suspect that there’ll often be requests for ‘overtime.’ I try to pick and choose what extra shifts I take on. I like to think I’m fairly humble and appreciate what I have. I think working with clients who have health or mobility issues affirms this, and if I can help them with what they need and bring a smile to their face, I’ll have done my job as well as I can.
To read my other thoughts and perspectives, click here.
Featured image source was courtesy of Pexels Free Photos.