Diary of a carer
Liz is one of our Essex-based carers. She takes us through a few days in her working life and introduces us to Rachel, Donna and Paul…
Hi, my name is Liz and I am in the Flexy Team doing all my work between three schemes in Chelmsford and working for the manager there (Cheryl - you'll meet her later). You can have a picture of me as I look much better in a mask.
Day starts normally at 7am
Why do the guys get up so early?
Rachel makes her porridge and her tea or coffee and sits at the table. I do Paul’s latte and his Weetabix and toast and another latte (Paul is registered blind but we encourage and support him to do as much as he can for himself). I support Paul and Rachel with medication and take Donna's up to her in bed - she likes a lie-in.
Rachel clears the table and puts it in the dishwasher - that’s her job! I run her bath, testing the temperature for her. Rachel likes her hair washed on Monday, Thursday and Friday. She baths and dresses independently.
While Rachel is in the bath I help Paul with his morning shave before he has a shower. Then a quick hoover round downstairs, listening out in case anyone needs me.
Paul dresses in his bedroom. I ask what T-shirt he wants today. I know he will choose a flowery one because that’s the sort I wear and he can make out some of the flowers and colours. He asked me to buy some for him. He has a nice collection now. I take a few out and he chooses which he would like.
Shaving balm applied next and aftershave (Paul will choose ‘Intimately Beckham’ because he knows it's my favourite). Now Paul will either watch TV or sit in the garden listening to his radio. If the birds need feeding I support Paul to feed them. Rachel is dressed now and she watches TV for a while. I’ve already put the washing on.
What’s this I can hear? Singing! Donna is up, showered and dressed and - first things first - Donna puts the kettle on for her coffee and offers to make everyone a drink. "Thank you Donna". She then does her washing and puts it out on the line.
So what are we going to do today?
We have all had a chat about the virus and how hard the doctors and nurses are working. We have decided to make a rainbow with lots of goodies to go in a pack to the hospital to show our appreciation - I found out they could really do with pot noodles, soup in a mug and cup a soups. Quick food so this is what we purchased.
The guys all wanted to decorate the packages with rainbow pictures so this is what we did. We also stuck them in the bedroom windows to show our support. On Thursday evening we stood out the front and clapped with the neighbours.
Morning shift (again)
Bed-changing day for Paul and he is donating a couple of old duvets for a friend of mine to make into scrub bags. Paul also needs a haircut so he sat in the garden and I clipped it for him before he had his shower and washed the loose hairs off. I also brought nose clippers so tidy nose, eyebrows and ears - a very smart gentleman!
Donna is making 'fizzy lemonade jelly', the rest of the lemonade was consumed with lunch.
Let's go for a picnic. I brought lots of goodies on the way to work - naughty but nice. Here we go - the merry gang…
Enjoying the picnic in the park, five minutes' walk from home. What a lovely day and the sun is shining.
Bananas are looking worse for wear so Rachel is making a banana cake… yum! Donna fancied a stroll so we go for a walk along the river and across the fields. Enjoying the warm weather and watching the horses. What a lovely picture.
When we get back I help Rachel and Paul to put the washing out. It will dry in this lovely weather.
We are going to enter the Rainbow competition so we are making a sun-catcher Rainbow mobile. What a great job the guys have done, they have all worked really hard.
Later Donna lays the table for evening meal. Afterwards Donna and Rachel clear the table and Rachel loads the dishwasher. She will empty it and put everything away once it's finished. No EastEnders tonight so I thought if Rachel got a kindle she could watch some old ones on there. The same with Holby City and Casualty as these are some favourite programmes. Works well.
Let’s have a BBQ. I am head chef, LOL! Everyone seemed to enjoyed it.
Rachel waits for the washing to dry. This is another job Rachel likes but she doesn’t like waiting. We do have to check the washing otherwise Rachel will put it away wet.
I’ve come in today and the guys have been cooking with staff already and done the washing up. Super!
Paul’s niece visits him and they have a social distancing meet-up in the garden. What a surprise as I hadn’t told Paul she was coming. Oh, he was so pleased!
Back to morning shift
We didn't win the Rainbow competitions - booooooo - but we got a rainbow cake for entering. Hooray! No photos I am afraid because we ate it. It was delicious. Our Manager Cheryl popped in today and what's that I can spy on the table? Rainbow cake so that's where the last bit went so I did manage a photo. Is she going to all her services and eating cake?
I support Rachel to phone her sister today. They had a chat and asked if she has WhatsApp. She did so Rachel and her sister were able to see each other and have a talk. Donna rings her sister every day. I printed her number out and laminated it so Donna could keep this and phone her sister so she can do this without any support now.
The guys are having a good game playing Bowls in the garden. GOOD GAME, GOOD GAME.
Well that’s it, I think I can have a day or two off now!!