I’m 67 now and I’ve been working for Bluebird Care for nearly 10 years. Just because you reach a certain age it doesn’t mean you want to stop work and sit down all day. I feel like I still have a lot to give, and this job makes me feel fulfilled. Knowing that I’ve made someone else happy makes me happy.
I used to work in an office as a medical records coordinator, but when I was made redundant I decided it was time to change direction.
A few of my friends are carers and I loved how animated they were when they were talking about their roles, so I thought I’d see for myself. There were a couple of care providers that I was interested in, but Bluebird Care caught my eye and after doing some research into the company and reading testimonials from customers and carers alike, I decided to apply.
I was new to care, and the training Bluebird Care provided and the support from other carers and the office staff was invaluable. I knew then I’d made the right choice.
It was daunting at first, knowing that I had people’s health and wellbeing in my hands, but time and ongoing training made me realise I had nothing to worry about. It was reassuring to know that help and advice was always on hand. And I’m still here.
Last year I officially retired but I knew I wasn’t ready to give it all up, I’d miss it too much. Instead, I opted for semi-retirement. That’s given me more time for myself but I’m still doing the job I love. It’s the best of both worlds.
I always go into my customers with a big smile on my face. It’s great when you walk in and see a smile on their face too and you know that you have made their day.
Sometimes you may be the only person they see that day, and it’s nice to sit and have a chat with them, give them a bit of company.
I’m quite chatty and I can talk about a lot of subjects, at my age you have a lot of life skills. I grew up in the same area as many of my customers so I can relate to their memories and chat about old times. When they ask if I remember, I can say that I do, I was there too. We have some laughs.
I call them ‘my ladies’ and ‘my gentlemen’ and I always say Mr and Mrs unless they give me permission to use a different name. I think the older generation like respect, they were brought up to be respectful.
When they say: ‘thank you, I’ve had a lovely afternoon,’ it makes my heart melt.
To be a good carer you need to be compassionate. There have been times when I’ve held a customer’s hand for reassurance if they have been a bit tearful.
I love the difference you make in this job. Knowing you have helped and supported someone to stay safe and as independent as possible in their own home is a joy and a privilege. Who could ask for any more?
Retirement doesn’t mean giving up. This job helps me as well. It gives me a purpose to my day; it keeps me young.