Hellooooo! Is anyone else suffering with the Monday blues? I don’t know what’s worse – Mondays or Wednesdays. I know this seems like a bit of a weird post, but I’ve been thinking about my job lately, and I feel I went into it half blind. I really like my job (most days) but there’s still a few things that I never even thought of or considered when I first started so if anyone reading this is thinking of getting into home care; please read this first and then decide if it’s for you. They didn’t put me off but they might for some!
If you hate driving, don’t bother
It seems so obvious now, but when I applied I never imagined how much time I would actually be spending in my tiny little Fiesta that was limited to 50mph and had awful radio signal. Luckily I like driving – I don’t like it as much as I did when I began but it’s not bad. And I’ve recently upgraded my car so it’s made my driving time a lot more comfortable. If this is a deal breaker for you, maybe a care home would be better.
Patience is essential
Again, another obvious one. You might think you’re one of the most patient people you know, but when the call has officially ended and you’re still there trying to help someone walk to their chair you might be suprised at how you feel. It turns out I’m super patient with elderly people, but not with anything else. Patience also comes in very handy when you’re dealing with someone suffering from dementia or another form of memory loss and you have to keep repeating yourself. You will get sick of the sound of your own voice, promise.
You will smell some foul things
Everyone’s house has a certain smell. It might be a pleasant smell, but then it might not be. It may be very subtle, but it may be overwhelmingly strong. And if your job includes ‘personal care’…well, you can guess the kinds of things your sniffer may be exposed to. What ever it is, you’ll get used to it. Try chewing a strong gum during your first few weeks, but over time you’ll automatically stop breathing through your nose when the time is right. Fortunately I’ve never been overly affected by smell – if I don’t like it I’ll breathe through my mouth instead. Problem solved. I wouldn’t say this is a deal breaker, but it’s handy to know!
You will also see some unpleasant sights
Ever seen a bed sore? If you have a strong stomach; Google ‘Stage 5 bedsore’… I’m not going to say that it won’t bother you over time and you won’t completely get used to it, but it is something that you’ll learn to deal with. I couldn’t even clean up a bit of cat vomit before, but now even I’m suprised at some of the things I find myself doing.
You’ll learn a lot & meet interesting people
Old people have the best stories, and they’re always more than happy to share them with you. You’ll learn a bit of everything, from history to medical. I once met a man who was in MI5 and a lady who’s son is best friends with Paul O’Grady! The only negative thing about meeting all these people is that sometimes you might form a bit of attachment, which obviously makes it more difficult when people pass away.
I didn’t write this post with the intention of putting people off of home care – it’s a great job and I’d encourage a lot of people to go for it! But you do have to be a ‘certain type of person‘ as they say – I’m still not 100% sure what type of person you have to be but apparently I’m one of them! Being a home carer is by far the best job I’ve had to date and it fits in with my lifestyle pretty well, which I guess is strange for someone my age. It’s not for everyone, but if you grew up around the elderly I’d say you have a great shot!