Care about happiness

Published: 25/10/2019

Our care assistant Susan, featured in the Daily Mirror this week. Below is an extract of the article featuring her and Bluebird Care.

Store worker made shift to home visits. The care industry is facing a major crisis, with half a million workers expected to leave in the next five years. 

But staff shortages are expected to be more than double that over the next decade at 1.2 million.

Workers have concerns about pay and conditions, while young- sters are shunning it as a career option, according to research from careers website Totaljobs.

More than half of 18 to 25-year- olds simply wouldn’t consider the sector – which Totaljobs reckons could be due to a lack of awareness.More than half said teachers, parents or friends had never spoken to them about taking a career in social care.

The feared exodus and lack of enthusiasm for jobs in the industry emerges despite most social care workers saying they love their workand are proud of their career. Susan Nicol is one of them and says since starting as a care assistant in February she has never felt happier at work. “After a lifetime of working inretail where I was unhappy, at last I’ve found what makes me tick,” says Susan, 61, of Bracknell, Berks.

Susan works for Bluebird Care and spends her day visiting older people in their homes, doing a range of jobs from helping them to get their day started, assisting with medication, shopping, making meals and, more often than not, just being a person to chat to. “I can honestly say at the end of each day I have the most amazing feeling I have made a real difference to someone’s life,” she adds.

Susan accepts that she was terri- fied when she first took on the role, wondering whether she could understand what the job actuallywas. But with decent training andjust going for it she has
found a great new career. “I didn’t have the confi- dence at first, but within days I felt I could master this wonderful job.“Nothing beats bringing a smile to someone’s face when you walk in the
door. Connecting with someone who has dementia for instance – singing Elvis Presley songs or looking through photo albums – is a real joy and honour.”

There are downsides too, of course, including the sadness when a person she has been caring for dies. “Nothing can make that easy,” Susan says. While raising children, Susan had a career in and out of retail for decades. “At school I had wanted to be a nurse, but at 4ft 10ins I was considered too short back in the day.
“When I realised I’d had enough of supermarket work I thought I might as well try the care sector. I am so glad I did.” 

Susan is convinced many people would feel like her if they gave it a go. "I'd urge people of all ages to try this. They might find it is the best thing that ever happened to them. From dreading going to work I now look forward to calls on my days off asking me to do extra hours. 

"Each day I have the most amazing feeling"