Carers Week Interview - Akua

2015-06-11 16.34.47Akua is a support worker at one of East Thames Groups' extra care older adult schemes. She allowed us to interview her for Carers week 2015.

How long have you worked in care?

I’ve been caring for more than 10 years and worked for East Thames Group for the last 3 years. I’ve worked with the elderly and with young people with mental health issues.

Who do you care for now?

There are about 30 people in the scheme, which is extra care older adults, so I care for all of them really but I provide direct care to about 10 of them.

What is the best thing about the job?

Everything really. It is a beautiful thing to take care of someone. If you care with your whole heart, what you get back is marvelous. It personally gives you lots of life experience. Sometimes you think you are supporting them but actually you are the one learning lots from them.

What is the worst thing about the job?

Some of the behaviour you face, which is often related to certain conditions, can be challenging. It is not always easy trying to support people in the best manner if they do not recognize their need for support. Sometimes they don’t understand or don’t agree with what you are trying to do for them.

Do you think technology can help you do your job?

Yes. It can be good to help the residents but also to support the staff. The technology we have at our scheme can provide evidence that you have been to the flat to help the resident.

Will you always work in care?

Yes. It is my job for life.

Do you also have your own family to look after?

Yes but my kids are grown up. Some residents here don’t have any family, some do not have any family that are around them, so I am like their surrogate family.

Would you like to become a manager?

Absolutely not. The training is very good at East Thames but I like working with people and doing the hands on stuff. People support what I do and think it is good that I work in care helping people.

What do you get out of your job?

You get very attached to your clients. You joke with them, and when you are at home on your own, you remember lots of things that make you smile. You miss them when you haven’t seen them for a while.

I remember one lady who was very challenging– she used to go out and get lost all the time. It was very difficult to take care of her. When she was moved to another scheme, I fought to keep her here – you just get attached to the people you care for.