My day as a carer at Elm Tree Lodge. I’d like to describe this as a typical day but after almost 12 years working here there isn’t a typical day, every day is different.
I start work at 07.00am. I work on the Willow community just one of three bungalows at Elm Tree Court. I walk into the dining area and there are some residents already up I say good morning and have a chat with them and ask if they would like a cup of tea and something to eat, offering a choice of breakfast items. I then have a walk around the bungalow checking every bedroom to see if anyone else would like to get up and if not that they are comfortable in their beds. The duty manager comes and gives me the main handover and my duties to follow up on my shift. These could be GP appointments, following up medication requests, managing district nurse interventions and a variety of other tasks, always including the well-being of residents. I continue to assist residents until 08.00am when I give a handover to the staff working with me today. We discuss what tasks need carried out during the course of the day and I delegate duties to the team.
After this it’s time to commence my medication round. This can be difficult at times because by now there are quite a few residents in the same area with many different personalities and reassurances and explanations are frequently needed. Staff have to interact and diffuse situations that may occur and residents sometimes have to be guided away from the medication trolley as they often like to involve me in all what’s going on without understanding that I am busy with medication. This can be difficult at times as they think I am ignoring them and they get upset and think I’m ignoring them. This can be very upsetting. I explain I will chat to them when I have completed my medication round.
When I finish my round I chat to residents about their life and families and hobbies or whatever is important to them. This is one of the many rewarding parts of the job. When they talk about their life and get their photo albums out I start to get a more complete picture of who they are. During these interactions they can often become upset and don’t understand why they are at Elm Tree Court or where are their children or even their Mum or Dad. It takes a distraction and a listening ear to try and understand how they must be feeling and how it must feel to be walk in their shoes. It can be a very sad part of the job.
By now its dinnertime and residents sit down together to enjoy their chosen meal. I usually serve up the dinner and ensure everyone gets what they want. Later on I do my second medication round. After that when everyone is settled the residents choose an activity they enjoy. This could be jigsaws, bingo, a film or simply just relaxing with a cuppa and having a chat. Some residents go shopping in our in-house shop and buy what they fancy. I usually try and get some paperwork done for a while and ask my resident for who I am keyworker for if she would like a bath. Teatime is around 16.30 onwards then it’s the third medication round of the day. Afterwards I spend some quality time with the residents chatting before finishing my paperwork documenting the activities of the day and handing over to the Duty Manager. By now it’s 7 o’clock in the evening and the end of my shift.
It’s been a tiring day but, as ever, a rewarding one.