In this series of personal profiles, Two Counties Care gives a brief overview of a few of our carers, to give an indication of the broad variety of people/personalities that thrive in domiciliary care work. In this particular profile, we are focusing on Chloe.
At 19, Chloe is a one of the younger members of the Two Counties team (although as anyone will attest, she is wise beyond her years). Like many of our staff, she never expected to become a carer, but hasn’t looked back since she did!
Chloe initially wanted to become an accountant, but after a tough first year at Sixth Form College, she wasn’t sure that it was the right path for her. Consequently, she decided not to go back for her second year, so her mum suggested she become a part-time carer in order to save up a bit of money. Chloe quickly fell in love with domiciliary care work, and transitioned into a full-time caring role. Due to illness, she then moved into the office team and now splits her time between front-line caring and training & care co-ordination.
Although she loves it, Chloe also knows from experience that caring requires a certain strength of character, as it isn’t always easy. For example, in spite of her dementia awareness training and her regular involvement with the Farnham Alzheimer Café, her first experience of visiting a client with dementia in her own home was somewhat negative, leaving her feeling scared to deal with anyone living with dementia. However, she says that if care work teaches you anything it is that you have to “get back on the horse” and that you can’t take anything negative that a client says to heart, as it is likely their illness or frustration talking (rather than them being intentionally cruel). No job will be easy all the time, but maintaining a positive attitude and trying to laugh through adverse situations like this can turn a negative into a positive – and even get a good reaction from the client in the end!
Becoming a carer and getting to know all of Two Counties’ clients has (by her own admission) helped Chloe to become who she is today: a passionate, caring and confident person whose open-mindedness allows her to continually learn and grow. “They’ve kind of made me, in a way”, she says of the people she has helped, emphasing how they have inspired her to look at life in a different way. After finishing a visit with a client, often she will come out of their house and be struck by the fact that you just don’t know what’s around the corner in life – which really makes you think about what’s important! This perspective has even influenced smaller things about her life, for example allowing her to empathise with older people who are driving slowly, rather than getting angry at them as she might have previously! Overall, the enjoyment and fulfillment she gets from her work means that Chloe really couldn’t imagine leaving care work for anything!