Being a carer is the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. I just love it and I look forward to going to work.
I joined Bluebird Care in 2019, the year after I retired as an office administrator. It was just before my 70th birthday. I now work up to 15 hours a week.
I’m one of those people who rarely sits down, I’m always doing something, and I like to keep busy, I’d rather be on the go.
I was divorced in my 40s and live alone in my flat. The job is company for me. I care for some lovely people and have interesting chats.
Frances, who has Parkinson’s, went to the same hairdresser as me for years and we talked about the people we knew, it was great.
There’s a lady who has dementia who told me wonderful stories about when she was a teacher. She is a gentle, and lovely and enjoyed embroidery; she has sewn little flowers onto her curtains. There are photographs of her husband in her home and she chatted to me about how they met.
When I went to see her yesterday, she was totally confused. I put my hand on her shoulder, I wanted to give her a hug, but she would have wondered why I was doing that. I put a hot water bottle in her bed so that it was warm for her and had to stop myself from bursting into tears. You can’t help but become involved.
Mavis is in her 90s and loved to look at the birds on nearby rooftops, so I bought her a bird feeder for her garden.
Sheila is in her 90s too, and I buy little treats for her cat. When I go to see her, the cat comes running over to me. Sheila likes to look at photographs of my grandchildren.
I think when you are my age you have had experience of life and you know how people are feeling.
I know what it is like to be on my own. I have had lonely times, and sometimes you just need to have a chat with somebody. Because I have experienced loneliness, I can understand what it’s like.
I have experienced bereavement too. There’s lovely man, a proper gentleman I care for who has Parkinson’s and always brings his wife into the conversation when we talk. They were married for many years before she died, and it must be so sad for him to be on his own now.
The people I care for are like family to me. I like to think I’m a caring person. I enjoy supporting vulnerable people who can’t do things for themselves. I really do get satisfaction from that. I feel for people who need help.
I have worked in offices for most of my life and there’s not always that job satisfaction. When you are a carer you can see you are making a difference in people’s lives. I certainly get a lot out of it, that’s for sure.
I like the learning I do as part of the job. I don’t think you should ever stop learning in life. And I like the freedom of being out and about. The other day I stopped the car to have a sandwich. ‘This is just lovely,’ I thought.
I never wake up thinking that I don’t want to go to work. I need these people in my life as much as they need me in theirs. I get back as much as I give.
NB. The customer names in this article have been changed to protect identities.