A day in the life of a Domiciliary Carer
Updated: Apr 28
This morning started as most do, bright, sudden and very, very early. Before I go and wake up my first client, I must take steps to wake up myself! Coffee, cereal, packed lunch, a quick brush through my hair and a mere look in the mirror, uniform on, car keys in hand and ready for a big day of being a companion, support system, and a friend.
7.15, my very first client of the day. Mrs Wilton needs helps getting up, showering and then a lovely cup of tea afterwards, and is always polite and grateful. We got her slipped into a linen dress to match the warm weather, plaited her hair out of her face, and chatted about each others plans for the day. By 8.15 she was completely sorted, clean and fresh and ready for the day, and I felt a sense of achievement.
8.15, 15 minutes until my next wake up call. I met my colleague at the property (as it was a double up) and we worked together to get Mrs Lintern ready for the day. Luckily, I’d already warmed up and started my day, otherwise the lifting may have pulled a muscle or two! We got Mrs Lintern dressed smartly, applied her moisturisers, spoke a little about her ‘family drama’ and pottered around the kitchen afterwards. It’s funny, when you’re a carer, you take on so many different roles; a cleaner, a therapist, a personal stylist, a weight-lifter, a beautician, sometimes all in one client, like this visit!
10.30, time to channel another skill of a carer, food preparation! Mr Wilson needs his usual marmalade on granary with a side of medication. I gave the sides a wipe down, before being ordered to make myself a cuppa and pop a squat. The client and I spoke about the ‘better days’ as he enjoyed his breakfast, the glimmer of light in his eyes made me smile as I sipped my tea and examined the cleanliness of the living room (you can never fully switch off from duties can you!) I spent the rest of the visit completing light domestic tasks whilst we chatted.
12.00, I arrive to my next clients property and let myself in. Sometimes Mrs Brown is upstairs so I raise my voice slightly to say hello and let her know I’m here. She lets out a small ‘here!’ and I follow her voice to the living room. She had slipped from her chair, and was led uncomfortably on the floor. I immediately rang an ambulance, helped her up and kept her comforted whilst we waited for her to be checked over. Whilst waiting, I rang the office and let them know I’d unfortunately be behind schedule for the next client. They understood and called my clients to explain. I usually pride myself on being as punctual as possible, however sometimes it’s not achievable as I plan. The safe guarding of our client was defintely put in the forefront of my mind, as apposed to punctuality!
3.00, After the ambulance had been and gone, it was time to pop the chefs hat back on and cater for Mr Cornell, who I’d noticed was eating less than usual and hadn’t been as chatty. As a carer, you’ve learnt to pick up on signs of detoirating mental health in clients, and you take it upon yourself to check in as much as possible. I finished clearing up from lunch and sat next to him, we spoke about what was on his mind, his loss of appetite and his lingering bad mood. I’ve now, made a vow to myself to start every visit with this client with a verbal mental health check in, and give him time to speak his mind to listening ears.
3.45- The final call of the day, slightly delayed due to my overstay with Mrs Brown, who by now had called to say she was slightly bruised but doing better. Previous to entering the property I gave myself 5 minutes to scoff down my lunch, yes, lunch, at 3.45! Nonetheless, I, straight after, prepared dinner for the lovely Mr Lauchlan and chatted with him. I then administered his tablets, prepared his pyjamas for later and made sure he was comfortable and ready to face the evening. I left just after 4.45pm, sat in my car and took a deep breath. I wiped the mascara from the top of my eyes and pulled the ponytail from my hair. I stretched out my arms and neck and started the car, and began to reflect on the highs and lows of the shift and how everyday in care is truly a whole different ball game to the last!