Why I Became a Live in Care Assistant

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Why I Became a Live in Care Assistant

Effee tells us why she become an ENA Live in Care Assistant

I had never thought about being a Live in Care Assistant until I saw the Job advert that I replied to online. I got an interview with ENA and right away I felt a warm welcome to the company even though I hadn’t joined them yet.  I had an interview via Skype, since I lived in Greece, and then decided to come over to England and give it a go. I went through a five day training course and I had a great experience. I learnt so many things and even though it was only five days, I felt that I was ready enough to go into a placement. The trainer was very efficient and friendly as well. He answered all my questions and encouraged us to put what we learnt into practice.  After that it was an easy decision. I was ready to be a Live in Care assistant and ENA was the place for me. The people in the office were very friendly and supportive. I felt proud to be a part of such a great team of people.

My first placement didn’t last very long. The first few days I was optimistic that I was doing ok but eventually we realized that we didn’t get along very well. Being a Live in care assistant means that you spend most of your day around your client, so it’s very important that your personalities are similar and you get along well. That’s not very easy to find but you have to be patient and hopeful that you will find that person eventually. After another short placement I finally found the lady I care for now and I’ve been with her ever since. Six months and counting. It’s been a great placement so far. We get along great, she’s easy going, as am I. We have a nice relationship, professional but friendly at the same time.

My Client has a form of cerebral palsy. This means that she has limited mobility but her speech and intellect are intact. She can eat on her own, she can control her wheelchair, the tv remote but there are other things that she needs assistance with. In the morning we have to use a hoist to get up from bed. I help her to the toilet, brush her teeth and floss. I help her get dressed and then use the hoist to help her back to her wheelchair. I make her drinks and prepare her meals and I assist her to the toilet during the day. I also help her take her medicine. And then at the end of the day we go through a bathroom routine and then to bed. We go shopping every week and of course stop for a coffee on the way! And we also use the car to go to hospital appointments or meet family.

It doesn’t sound so bad, right? Of course, this is what she needs. Other people have different conditions and different needs. But it all depends on the person and their condition. To be fair, as a Live in Care assistant, I don’t have many “medical” responsibilities other than the administration of medicine. But the training I received taught me everything I needed to know. From how to use the hoist to administering medication and emptying catheters. To understand how the hoist works we had another trainee put us on the hoist and get us from the bed to the wheelchair. Not only did this help us learn the logistics of hoisting someone, it also taught me how it feels to be hoisted so I can understand it from my client’s perspective.  We emptied and changed catheters, we completed medicine administration sheets, we went through every possible responsibility that we might encounter in a placement. And alongside reading about it, we practiced every little thing that we learned. That way you don’t feel like a fish thrown out in the land, looking around panicking and not knowing what you are supposed to do.

I’m not going to lie, being a live in care assistant is a hard and demanding job. You have a responsibility to your client, you have to be present and alert all day and all night. But it’s such a rewarding feeling to see the difference you make in someone’s life. You are giving them the gift of independence and that’s a beautiful thing. Helping them through everyday tasks and giving them the opportunity to fulfil their wishes and live their life the way they want to. It’s hard but you get the satisfaction of being able to help someone live as independently as they can. If you really are a caring person and you want to make a difference, then this is a job to consider.

I’ve been with ENA for seven months but I still consider myself a new live in carer. What’s great with ENA is that they really care about giving their clients the best care. That means that you have access to continuing training, making sure you are on top of your game and you keep learning new things that are going to help you in your work. You can specialize in certain areas, depending on your interests or your client’s condition, so that you have more specialized knowledge of the condition you are dealing with.

Even though I never thought I would do this job, I’m really happy I found ENA. Not only do I have a job that I love, I’m also surrounded by people who care about me and my wellbeing. They also really care about making me the best live in carer I can be and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.