Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

A Day in the Life of a Carer - Estela's Story

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I first learnt about being a Carer through a friend in the profession who clearly loved the impact her work had on her clients. Deciding to give it a go, I quickly realised how gratifying the role was. Despite being a very demanding role to play, being a Carer is very rewarding.

A typical day would start at 7 am and finish at 10 pm. When I arrive in the morning, the first thing I do is to prepare breakfast and greet my client with a cup of tea. I usually help my clients with having a shower and helping them dress up for the day. My more active clients tend to enjoy walks, so in the afternoons, we go for a walk for some fresh air and exercise. I end my day after I have assisted them with their bedtime rituals and ensured that they have everything they need in case they were to wake up in the night.

The best parts of the job are getting to know my clients on a personal basis, sharing stories and having a laugh with them. I love making my clients happy and contributing to making their lives more joyful and fulfilling.

To succeed as a carer, you always have to anticipate what your client needs in any given situation and at any given time as well as being prepared for an emergency situation. You must have all the correct numbers and remain calm. In my first emergency situation, it took me a moment to gather my thoughts and try not to panic before I gained control over the situation.

Like every vocation, there are challenging aspects to the role. The challenges are usually varied due to the different situations and characteristics of my clients. The most common challenge is building that initial relationship with my clients in order for them to trust that I have their best interests at heart and I am not here because I have to be. Once that relationship is built, I have found that it makes it easier to motivate my clients to get out of bed or attend a social event. The hardest part of the job is having to carry on working despite dealing with the recent passing of a client.

In my opinion, you must love what you do and the people you look after, be compassionate, positive, patient and be mindful of their situation in order to be a proficient and understanding carer. A little side note to be remembered is that for the years that I have been a carer, being a good home cook, goes a long way with my clients.

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