Over the last six weeks, Age UK Northumberland and the Northumberland Gazette have been running a joint campaign to find a whole tranche of new Home Care attendants to join our existing excellent Home Care teams across all communities.
There are hundreds and hundreds of older people across our county who have the right and the desire to stay in their own home.
It maybe that they just can’t quite manage certain chores anymore, or that they need help with particular activities, or their memory isn’t what it was.
Whatever they need help with, as long as they are able to make the decision to stay at home, and it’s safe for them, then they deserve appropriate help.
Our Home Care attendants make a huge difference to the lives of the families we look after.
We give sons, daughters and grandchildren both the peace of mind their loved ones are looked after well, and the time to be able to work and care for the children in the family too.
Over the length of the campaign we have tried to illustrate the type of person who will be good at caring for others in their homes, and we have had a great response.
Looking after people in their own homes is a real privilege and to do this successfully you need to be caring, empathetic, practical, kind, understanding and interested in the welfare and care of others.
In return for being the person for the role, Age UK Northumberland offers full training and support.
There’s a competitive salary, too, but that shouldn’t be your driving force or this might not be the job for you.
You’ll never be alone in your role, but part of a team of people who have the same basic instincts and ethics as your own.
Between you and your colleagues, along with the role you will be doing, you will make a real difference to your community.
The Amble care team looks after 120 older and/or vulnerable people in the area, and they also support each other.
They are absolute stars, and they make sure that those who need our services in the community are safe and sound.
Susan Martin is a Home Care coordinator. She looks after the patch from Amble to Lesbury, taking referrals, putting together care plans and work programmes and inputting data.
Susan has been with the organisation for 20 years.
With three children, she started her career as a Home Care attendant.
Once the children were at school, she decided to make a career of it and became a senior home carer, then headed for the office and became the data assistant. Now, she is the coordinator, a post she has held for eight years.
From Alnwick, 48-year-old Susan is based at the Roundhouse, Age UK’s Northumberland HQ , in Ashington, along with eight other coordinators.
She said: “My day is very varied. The role of the coordinator is to be the first port of call. I take referral calls from social services, GPs, hospitals and district nurses.
“I am also there for all our services users and Home Care attendants if they have a problem.
“I make sure every thing is always logged and recorded, and give feedback reports to the care managers, and other professionals.
“It’s a busy role, which I absolutely love. My passion is to support people to stay in their own homes as long as possible.
“I do my utmost to enable this to happen – supporting families and the Home Care attendants as much as I can.
“It’s a team effort and we all support one another to ensure that we provide the very best service we can.”
Susan is keen to see as many new Home Care attendants recruited as possible. As Susan coordinates the care plans, she has to be aware of the busiest times of the day and which Home Care attendants are needed in which area.
All of this activity makes the service run as smoothly as possible for the 120 service users across her area.
Susan said: “The Amble team delivers 710 hours of care each and every week, and our service is in great demand, so we need kind, caring, reliable, trustworthy people who are able to join us.
“It’s a great job for a parent as you get the flexibility to spend time with your children too.
“If you think this may be for you, pick up the phone and get more information.”
Anyone interested in joining Susan and the Amble team, or any of the teams across the county, should call 0845 1400088 and ask for an application pack.
FINAL WORDS OF THE CAMPAIGN
Our thanks go out to all the Home Care attendants, service users and their families who have opened up their lives and allowed us to use their stories. Your input and assistance has been invaluable in attracting others to join us.