Carer stories: Joy – Pursuing her passion for person-centred care

We recently caught up with our carer of the month for January 2021, Joy. Before joining Elder as a live-in carer in 2019, Joy was working for an agency that supplied carers to nursing homes across East Sussex. This is the story of her career in care and her experience of working with Elder so far.

When I was a young girl, I grew up in my family’s ancestral home with my grandparents, who I was very close to. Ever since I was young, I found myself drawn to older people –  I was able to understand and get on with them better than most people my age. I could tell when they were having a bad day, and I always  wanted to make them laugh or smile and cheer them up.  This is how I knew I wanted to pursue a career in elderly care. 

Before becoming a live-in carer with Elder, I was working for an agency, which involved travelling around Sussex to care for lots of different residents in different nursing homes.  I was providing a variety of care, from one-to-one care to working late night and early morning shifts. 

This work, despite giving me incredible experience and insight into working across the care sector, was incredibly tiring and left me wishing I could spend more time with each person I cared for. I wanted to do more and give them person-centred care, but there were not enough of us in the homes to do so, and our time with everyone was always rushed.

Elderly people are often quite isolated and rather lonely, and I wanted to spend more time with them and  simply put a smile on their faces each day.

Being unable to spend time with my clients like I wanted to really started to weigh on me. Elderly people are often quite isolated and rather lonely, and I wanted to spend more time with them and  simply put a smile on their faces each day. I started going to visit clients on my breaks despite not being asked to do so, so that I could give them some company and help lift their mood.

I soon felt that even this was not enough, and that I wanted to really get to know the people I was caring for. It was after this realisation that I applied to work as a live-in carer with Elder. Getting to spend time with my clients and talking about their lives, families, hobbies and interests is amazing.  I am especially passionate about keeping my clients connected with their families, especially when they couldn’t see each other in person due to COVID-19 I help facilitate video calls to brighten their days too.

One aspect of live-in care that I particularly like is being able to see new parts of the UK – going to new placements and getting to meet lots of new people from all walks of life. I also enjoy seeing how much happier my clients are at home compared to in the nursing homes. However I am so grateful for my experience in nursing homes for giving me a wide range of skills I can apply to help my clients today. Every client has their own needs and ways, and as a live-in carer I have to be adaptive to these needs to help them stay as happy and healthy as possible.