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What caring means to me

Beth

This week it is Carers Week and in our latest blog Beth Amos, Support Worker, shares what being a carer means to her and how the team at Lowry House create a homely environment where carers can feel connected to their loved ones.

I would never look at myself and label myself as a carer just because I have a natural instinct to look out for those who may be unable to look out for themselves.

Being a carer entails so much more than just looking after someone. Of course this is a basic principle of the job but fundamentally it involves building a strong supporting network for an individual and their family.

Without the right support in place families can feel out of touch with their relative, this applies both to those who require in-house or residential care.

Building a trusting relationship with a person’s family makes the whole caring experience more personal. Families feel involved not subsided and know they still have an important role to play, despite not being a main caregiver anymore.

Often residents in care settings feel a sense of abandonment, so having a strong working relationship with their family allows them to feel like they haven’t just been left and in fact their needs are being catered to more than ever before.

They are now able to access support that may not have previously been available to them whilst maintaining excellent relationships with their own family.

Personally, my colleagues and I developed a system within our work environment where at the end of each month we create personal newsletters to send to our residents’ families. This includes any activities they have engaged with over the month and any achievements they have completed such as day trips or social events.

Families also receive a monthly newsletter of what the service as a whole has been up to, such as hosting our themed ‘meet and eats’ and having our weekly movie nights. The newsletters keep everyone in the loop as there is so much that occurs within one month.

This simple yet effective system allows families to have a live up to date diary of what’s been going on. This has allowed families to feel more sense of involvement in their relative’s life.

Barriers to engagement are overcome by hosting regular meetings for everyone to express their opinions and feelings. Hosting these meetings contributes to everyone feeling valued and heard. The staff and families will all agree that the relationships we have are built from strong foundations.

Lowry House is like a second home for many, people are encouraged to speak out and be heard which contributes to everyone knowing they matter and what they suggest will be listened to.

Respect, honesty and team work are core values we all thrive off allowing us to develop the best relationships with our residents’ families whilst maintaining respect and happiness amongst the team.

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