When it comes to care work, no two days are alike. In fact, this is one of the most exciting parts of becoming a carer. Carers help people from different backgrounds and walks of life to reach their goals and maintain their independence. As a result, the roles and responsibilities of a carer will depend on the person they are looking after.
Becoming a live-in carer is a rewarding career, one in which a carer can make a real difference to the lives of those in need. If you’re considering a career in care work or simply want to learn more about a carer’s tasks and responsibilities, here is some insight into life as a carer.
If you’re interested in how you can start your own career working as a carer with Oxford Aunts, here you can find more information about our live-in carer jobs in Oxford.
A day in the life as a carer
Here is an example of what a “typical” day could look like for one of our live-in carers:
In the morning, your role is to support your client in completing their morning routine and starting their day off right. You are there to offer any support that is required and create the most comfortable environment possible.
Some clients might require help with their personal care routines such as bathing or toileting while other clients will prefer to take care of it themselves. In those instances, a carer’s role is simply to keep an eye on the situation to ensure your client’s dignity and safety are always being respected.
You may prepare breakfast in the morning and then share it with your client or they might prefer to eat independently. You may also be required to remind your client about any morning medications they need to take. This means you’ll often be the first person to notice if anything is amiss with your client and can act accordingly by contacting their family or the appropriate healthcare professionals.
Downtime at home
Throughout the day you might perform light household-keeping duties and spend time with your client while always respecting their personal boundaries and space. Some clients might enjoy playing games together or reminiscing over a cup of tea, while others will prefer spending time by themselves or catching up with family.
Rather than taking on tasks for your clients, you should encourage them, where appropriate, to complete as much for themselves as they are willing and able to do. Our carers are there to encourage our clients to maintain as much of their independence as possible, as we know this contributes to a positive self-image and sense of purpose in life.
You may also help your client facilitate visits with their family and friends throughout the day or help them use video messaging platforms to stay in touch.
Depending on your client’s preferred routine, you will prepare additional meals and snacks for your client throughout the day. The meals you prepare will be in accordance with your client’s tastes and preferences. Some clients will enjoy sharing meals together while others may prefer to eat alone.
Getting some exercise
If your client is willing and able to, we encourage getting out into the local community together. This could be as simple as taking a stroll through their garden or going for a walk together to visit their favourite shops. Our carers are there to help their clients retain their place in the community they love.
After preparing a home-cooked meal for dinner, you will help your client settle in for the evening. This could involve helping them with their personal care routines or reminding them to take their evening medication. You might prepare a warm drink or a hot water bottle, or simply leave them to a spot of reading. Most importantly, your presence throughout the night will provide much-needed peace of mind for your client and their families.
SHARING OUR REAL-LIFE CARER STORIES
“From a Gentleman who made Great Coats during the war – whose Father came to the UK from Poland, wrapped in a carpet, carried across a river – to a lady who was a Nanny to three children, I have had the most amazing clients. Lords, Ladies, Professors, QCs and very ordinary folk. Caring has just been the best experience which Oxford Aunts has afforded me for the last 16 years.
My first position in 2003 as a live-in carer was with another company. I lived on this beautiful estate, with a lake filled with Canada geese and ducks. The deer would nibble on the magnolia tree while I watched the gentleman take his morning swim. I had my own apartment within the house, there was a chef and a butler, wine cellars, and wonderful family members. The position was idyllic but the company I worked for were just not interested in their client or their carers. There was no training. I got the position after a short interview, four days after my arrival in London.
In November 2004, I joined Oxford Aunts. I have never looked back! Here was a company that cared for both the carer and the client, provided the best training and on-going support. I have loved being a carer with Oxford Aunts, something my parents gently nudged me to do for about three years. The clients I have been fortunate to have been placed with, have filled my life with the most interesting and fascinating stories. Two of my clients have welcomed me into their homes for periods of three years each. Others have been shorter, but seldom less than 18 months. Many of the children and grandchildren are still in touch with me. The beautiful and touching letters I have received over years from clients and their families are very special.
There is something extraordinary about being able to stay in your own home, with your life being enhanced by someone who is able to look after your every need in a caring and empathetic way.
It is a special privilege to be able to assist somebody in their twilight years. And what a comfort to be in your own home. I hope to be around for a few more years doing the best job, for a great company.”
“My father was born and bred in Watford and immigrated to New Zealand in 1947, so when my adult children decided to work in the UK I decided to come and explore my roots and meet family, all of whom had just been names under photographs. I also decided to catch up with a long-lost friend in Oxford. She had been working for Oxford Aunts and sowed the seed of change and I applied to Oxford Aunts when I got home.
Six months later after packing up my life, I arrived in Oxford from Christchurch, New Zealand, in April 2009. I had taken a years’ leave of absence as a social worker for a church-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) where I had worked for nearly nine years.
My first job was in a small village caring for two single ladies who were sisters. On day four of the placement the youngest sister collapsed and died later in hospital. If I had had any doubts in my abilities, I knew I could do this job for them as I supported the older sister through her loss. I stayed with her for nearly two and a half years.
In the eleven years I have been working for Oxford Aunts there have been many clients and each one has taught me something about myself or about the world they live in. They are a mine of historic information, even those with dementia which is so interesting. In some of their lucid moments it is amazing what they will come out with. At these times, you see the person they used to be, and they are alive with their memories, which they are very glad to share.
Over the years I have become part of my clients’ lives, as well as their families. I love helping them to live life with independence, choice and dignity. Sometimes, I have been there when it was their time to go, and I have felt honoured to see them ‘on their way’. Just recently, I was surprised to get a text message from the daughter of a gentleman I was with for a short time last year on the first anniversary of his passing. She had thought of me as I had been there with him and her when he passed. I was able to ensure that she was there with her father so she could spend a priceless last hour with him and was there to help her through a difficult situation – so I was touched that she thought of me.
I have been fortunate to see quite a bit of the UK in my years working for Oxford Aunts. In between placements, I have stayed all over the country. I love my work as a live-in carer – the people I have met, the places I have been, the friends made, the colleagues I have met from all over the world. We all get so much satisfaction supporting the older generation – and that enriches the soul.”
TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR LIVE-IN CARE NEEDS
Call our friendly and approachable team today to see how we can help you and your family.