“My own experience gave me an even deeper understanding of the frustration that many people feel about losing their independence as they age. Now I can say that I really ‘get it’ and it’s made me even better at my job,” said Suraya from Stockport, Greater Manchester.
“Caring is something I’ve always felt came naturally to me and it’s brilliant fun with this company. They really take the time to match clients to CAREGivers so I’ve genuinely had something in common with every elderly person I visit.
“So, I’m back to health and back doing work that I love. What better job satisfaction knowing that I’m helping to brighten older people’s days.”
Caring for eight regular clients, many of whom have dementia, she adds: “I want to make my clients’ lives that bit happier. Even if they don’t remember, in that moment, they’ve laughed and smiled. When I see that, I feel proud to be a CAREGiver.
“There are so many different types of dementia, it’s important to understand the triggers for each client individually and to find a way to work around it,” adds Suraya, who is working towards Home Instead’s Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias programme, which is City & Guilds accredited. “Listening, being respectful and understanding what the client is going through is the key to building trust.”One selfie at a time
One of the clients Suraya visits every week is 90-year-old Helen. Every Wednesday night they spend four hours playing bingo at the local working men’s club. Suraya laughs: “She’s the Queen of the club there, they absolutely love her! She’s 90 but absolutely full of beans especially when she’s got her dabbers lined up and has her eyes down for a full house!”
Suraya regularly takes selfies with her clients to show just how rewarding the profession can be to people thinking about a career in care or considering a career change completely.
“A lot of my clients really love selfies. It makes them laugh and it shows them that we’re really interested in the person and in taking time to find out about their lives. We have a mission here at Home Instead Senior Care, we’re all dedicated to changing the face of ageing – I’m doing that one selfie at a time.”