Mum-of-two Christine Melville has been a CAREGiver at Home Instead Senior Care Glasgow North for just over two years after switching to homecare from working in a care home. She now cares for six people who she visits multiple times a week.
“I used to work in a care home, but I was looking for something different,” said Christine. “After spending years caring for my children and my own parents, and then a change in my personal circumstances, being a CAREGiver seemed like the right fit.
“I much prefer working in homecare because you get to know the clients better and you get to know their families as well. Working for Home Instead, you also spend more time with each client. Because you know you’ve got at least an hour with them, you can use that time to get to know them and talk to them.
“It can be quite challenging when you visit someone new, but once you’ve visited a client a few times, you get used to them, their home and their needs so you can get into a routine when you visit them and know what’s right for them.”
Christine, 50, particularly looks forward to spending time with Helen, one of her regular clients.
“I’ve been visiting Helen since I started this role,” Christine explained. “She is 99 years old and she’s so independent and is always trying to do things herself before she asks for help. I love the woman to pieces, she is amazing and a bit of a character – she’s a very special lady.
“Helen lives on her own and doesn’t have any family so she relies on my visits. This year I helped her to arrange a party for her 99th birthday, and it’s her 100th soon, so I’m hoping to do something special for her again to help her celebrate.”
As well as planning Helen’s 100th birthday, Christine is now preparing to spend her third Christmas with the people she cares for, helping them celebrate and providing vital support.
“It’s a real pleasure to work on Christmas Day and help my clients celebrate if they want to,” she said. “A lot of my clients’ families have moved away down South. For some, if I don’t visit, they might not see anyone all day, so it really does make a big difference to them.”
Although working over Christmas means Christine’s own celebrations are put on hold, she says that she wouldn’t have it any other way:
“If I wasn’t working, I’d probably be spending Christmas Day at home, but I actually prefer to work as I can spend the day helping other people who might otherwise spend Christmas alone.
“I love everything about my job. Seeing people’s faces light up when you walk through the door makes it so worthwhile, especially on Christmas Day. Many of my clients might have a limited time left now, so it’s our job to help them make that time happy and fulfilling.”