What’s it like being a carer at our learning disabilities care home in Uckfield, East Sussex? Whether you’re considering a career in care or are just curious about what life is like for carers, we’ve got answers for you. We spoke to our deputy manager, Sam, who started out as a carer and worked her way up.
Sam’s role at Halland House
As our registered manager, Sam has a lot of responsibility. A registered manager is both a healthcare professional and a manager, overseeing the operation of the home. This includes the care of our residents, staff development and even things like budgeting.
Inspiration to work in care
Sam was drawn to work in care from a young age after seeing her uncle living with MS and needing care. Sam used to visit him in the nursing home and he would visit her nan’s house where Sam would help to care for him. She would do things like feeding him, something he couldn’t manage alone, and they would have interesting conversations. It was Sam’s uncle who told her she would make a great carer and she took that to heart, starting out in her first care job aged 17.
The challenges of care work
You need to be adaptable to work with people with learning disabilities. Different residents have different needs and those can change over time. Verbal skills are often hard for people with learning disabilities, so learning different methods of communication is a must.
Sam, like many carers, finds it hard to watch residents deteriorate and eventually pass on but it is part of the job. At Halland House we keep residents here until the end of their lives if possible and we have a memorial garden at the front of the property. We make sure our residents nearing the end of their lives are never on their own and believe they are more comfortable with their family here at Halland House than they would be in a hospital.
The best parts of care work
While learning disabilities care can be hard at times, it is also incredibly rewarding. When asked about the best parts of her job, Sam talked about how she loves learning to communicate with the residents and helping them to manage their emotions. These are both things that people with learning disabilities have difficulty with, so when you get a breakthrough it feels special.
Sam, like all our carers here at Halland House, loves the residents. We are more like a family than staff and service users here, so knowing you’ve made someone happy is a wonderful feeling.
What it takes to be a carer
Some people are naturally better suited to care work than others. We’ve already mentioned that we’re like a family here, and for residents, Halland House is their home. We endeavour to encourage a family-like atmosphere and as part of this, Sam and the other staff don’t wear uniforms. We asked Sam what it takes to be a good carer and she emphasised the need for a caring nature, a good sense of humour, and high standards of care.
Could you be a carer?
If you think a career in care would be a good fit for you, take a look at our careers page on our website and contact us to enquire what roles are available or submit an application. We give training in important aspects of care such as communication and can help you with getting qualifications, but it is helpful to have some experience in dealing with people with learning disabilities or care work.