“Life in the Christies Care booking office is certainly not predictable. I can find myself dealing with queries ranging from “help, my carer is ill and I need someone today” to “there’s a fox in the kitchen what shall I do?” My regular job includes introducing the regular team of carers to their clients and making sure the rotas and changeover of carers work.
The other main part of my job is matching carers to clients. A client may be just starting with us, or his regular carer may be sick. It is a great feeling when a client tells me that he or she really likes their new carer; that they have things in common, can discuss similar interests and get on very well.
Last Christmas, one client found that none of his team of regular carers was available. I introduced a male carer to this client, despite his reluctance, as he was used to female carers. When I rang in the new year, I found that they had had a great Christmas together and had enjoyed lots of walks and “men’s talk”. This experience has opened up the client’s horizons to having more of a mix of carers, who each engage and stimulate him in a different way.
I often find that the family’s perception of what their mother or father may want in a carer may be very different to what the client actually wants.
Early in my career as a booker, I was told by one client’s son that his mother would only like calm and quiet carers.
I therefore introduced calm and quiet carers. When I talked to the client, she always said that the carers were fine but there were no ‘sparks’.
I mulled this over with our Local Area Advisor, Heather (who had visited the client several times and knows her quite well), and she said that “I find that this client brings out the loud and bubbly side in me, I think she could do with someone who is more fun”.
So I introduced a more gregarious, outgoing carer and found that they got on fantastically well.
When I rang to see how they were getting on, I found that they had been dancing in the hallway (literally) and expounding on the joys of eating prunes and sharing healthy food tips and cooking skills.
I learned from this and focus on introducing carers who make the client happy first and foremost, as well as liaising with relations.
A major part of our job is interviewing and getting to know the carers. How else can we be sure that we are introducing the right carers for our clients? We sit down with the carers when they come here on induction training and have time to get to know what sort of person they are. We also talk to the carers at their work, seeing how they get on with different clients and generally getting to know them better and keeping up a rapport.
I have only been with Christies Care 2 years and it has been really rewarding to get to know my clients over the years and through a variety of changes in their lives. The job gets much better as we get to know our clients and can really understand their needs and wishes. We often share details of what’s happening in our lives. If I had a pound for every time I had been asked “Have you finished building your house yet?”, I would be a very rich lady. And before you ask, we are 18 months in and no, it is still not finished!”