Talking to Lisa, a Community Care Assistant 22nd May, 2020 Our Home Care service enables older people and vulnerable adults in Worthing and its surrounding areas to lead better quality lives whilst remaining safe and comfortable in their own homes. The service’s Community Care Assistants help with personal care, domestic help, emotional support and general assistance with other tasks such as shopping, medication and mobility. Lisa has been a Community Care Assistant since joining us in November 2018. She was kind enough to talk to us about her role and how Home Care has adapted during the coronavirus outbreak. If you want to find out about becoming a Community Care Assistant, you can visit our current vacancies page. You can also get in touch with our Recruitment Team on 01903 863154 or [email protected]. How would you summarise the Home Care service? Home Care is a really lovely place to work. You can give them [the clients] bespoke care as they’re in their own homes. Clients choose how they like their care and how everyone works as a team to provide the highest standard of care. What do your clients most commonly need assistance with? Mainly medication, meal preparation, making drinks, chores around the house like making the bed. It can also be more mobility that we support with. Also, just socially as well. Some of our people we have actually just want somebody to sit and spend some time with them - and that’s equally as important. I know you’ve recently returned to work after being unwell. From what you’ve seen, how has the service changed since the coronavirus outbreak? It’s brought people together. The support I’ve had from the team, particularly while I was unwell, has been amazing. I honestly can’t thank them enough and I just feel like it’s brought everyone closer together. It just felt like everyone is a little more connected. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we strictly have the same carer visiting specific clients. How has the continuity of carers been received by your clients? Has it had a positive impact on their wellbeing? I think it’s nice for them to have the consistency and it must be nice to know there’s not lots of different people coming into their house. They must have people come in, which puts them more at risk of catching the virus. By having the same people in, it minimises the risk of the virus. Also, if they’re having a conversation or feel a bit anxious, at least if they know you’re coming back in two days’ time they can pick up that conversation. Do you think building close relationships with clients is important? Yeah, absolutely. The three people I saw last night, I’ve been working with them from the word go. So, as soon as I went back, they were saying, ‘Lisa, where have you been? We’ve missed you. We haven’t seen you!' You quickly build up relationships with the clients. For me, that’s what makes the job. It’s just being able to share. They know things about my life, and I know things about their lives. It’s really lovely that you can connect. You don’t feel that you’re a care worker and a client – it’s different. As much as it must have not been great being away, the fact they said they missed you must have felt lovely? Yeah. I equally missed them. I couldn’t wait to get back. I was really, really excited! Compared to other home care providers, our visits are longer. How do you think longer visits benefit our clients? I think by the time you’ve supported people with meals and their medication, it’s good to give them extra time. You’re not rushing people. I think that’s what’s really important, to allow people to have time. You can then do extra things, like popping to the shops for them, because you have the time to do that. I think that the emotional and social side are equally as important as the physical things we do with our clients. So, you think the longer time allows for a better relationship with clients and is positive for their wellbeing? Absolutely. And it allows to have more time to do things, so you’re not rushing thinking, ‘I’ve only got half an hour to do this, we’ve really got to get going.’ Actually, we’ve got an hour, what do you want to do? What order do you want to do them in? Have you witnessed any standout acts of kindness from either staff or clients? The carers in the community, the people I work with, are amazing. They really are. They’re really committed to making sure that the clients’ needs are met and genuinely do care about them. I don’t hear any bad words about our clients at all. And if anyone needs to stay on because someone needs that extra time, we do it. That’s just what we do. I think that everyone is so supportive. If you’re going to see someone new, you can speak to your colleagues and they’ll help you through. People look out for each other. The carers in the community really are amazing – they really do genuinely care for the clients. And the clients are just brilliant. If they can help you, they will. If you want to find out about becoming a Community Care Assistant, you can visit our current vacancies page. You can also get in touch with our Recruitment Team on 01903 863154 or [email protected].