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Diary of a care worker - Life in a care home

Blog from a Wellbeing coordinator

Every morning, I start work by planning and preparing for the day's activities.  I check the diary, complete all the necessary forms e.g. risk assessments for mobility and choke risk etc for the residents going out on the trip or involved in the activity planned. I check that we have all the right equipment in place, including mobile phones, continence aids and things like thickening agents and liaise with the kitchen for any specialist meals to be prepared. Half an hour in and I go onto a unit and assist residents with their breakfast, this is generally a one to one activity.

Once I have assisted I then come down and get ready for our first activity at about 10.00/1030. Today we did some life story work with individual residents. This meant taking some time with a resident to discover more about the individual.  One resident from a Polish background who lives with a diagnosis of dementia was quite closed off and not responding. I then spoke to her in Polish as I have a similar background.  She immediately opened up, her face lighting up and responded in Polish.  Some of her words were muddled and there were a few that I did not understand but the basic conversation was about her past life and experiences in a concentration camp. She described very personal loss of close family and described how lucky she felt to have survived and still be here.  This made me feel both sad and warm as she had had an opportunity to open up and although I wasn’t expecting the very sad story was pleased she had been able to communicate though her first language.

My aim is to make sure that our residents are smiling and there isn’t anything more rewarding than having someone smile back.