Retired police sergeant Keith Aldritt found a new vocation in life by becoming a CAREGiver with Home Instead and has now been crowned our CAREGiver of the Year for 2015.
Keith was a former Wildlife Liaison Officer with Staffordshire Police’s Rural Crime Unit. After retiring from the police, and then enjoying a stint as a teacher cover supervisor for a few years, Keith decided he didn’t want to hang up his clogs quite yet. Instead, he wanted to stay active in his community and give something back.
Keith volunteers in his local Post Office and it was when working here that he came upon a job advert for part-time CAREGiver at our Newcastle-under-Lyme based office.
During the initial CAREGiver training course, Keith identified with the different techniques taught to help encourage interaction with the elderly who may struggle to communicate. Keith applied this learning along with his own investigation and interview techniques honed during his 30 years with the Staffordshire Constabulary to chronicle chapters in the lives of the people he looks after. Keith has turned ‘life detective’ to capture the chapters of his clients’ lives in detail and builds up a Life Journal as a keepsake for them and their families. His efforts to bring older people back into daily living by revisiting their past have earned Keith the accolade of Home Instead’s CAREGiver of the Year 2015 award. Keith has brought a new verve for life for his clients and in particular for nonagenarian Harold H from Stoke-on-Trent. Harold had experienced a few trips and falls and as a consequence had lost his confidence to go out and about. His family enrolled Keith to help.
Keith delved further into Harold’s much forgotten life story further, researching his transfer to HMS Unicorn as a Fleet Air Arm Technician on the aircraft repair carrier. Keith charted Harold and HMS Unicorn’s journey as it moved troops and munitions around the world.
With Keith’s help Harry was able to unlock forgotten memories about his time in the Navy. A map was created showing the places Harold had sailed to which is now a feature of his Life Journal that Harold loves to recount with friends and family.
Harold came out of the Navy in 1946 and trained as an accountant. In the 1950s he set up his own accountancy company.
Keith took to his computer to track down the picture dating back to 1908 and tempted Harold to venture outside again, taking a trip back to the very same spot in the photograph. They documented the day out with a photo of Harold stood in the same spot he had as a boy although much had changed!
The pair have since enjoyed many more trips out with Harold enjoying a new zest for life. The pair continue to update the Life Journal on a weekly basis, with Keith’s CAREGiver of the Year award win being the latest entry.
While Keith’s loving care isn’t unique among the many thousands of fantastic CAREGivers we employ, his patient encouragement and altruistic approach in researching and investigating his client’s colourful history was something that caught the eye of the judging panel.
Keith attended the national Home Instead Senior Care Conference in Liverpool to receive the award from co-founders Sam and Trevor Brocklebank.
Keith is humble about his win but went on to say: “They say people should always trust a policeman, I know that from my years on the force. But being able to trust someone to provide you with care, well that’s everything when it comes to our older members of society.
Your new career starts here!