We love hearing members of our community of self-employed carers share their experience of working in the care sector. So allow us to introduce you to David, a carer based in Kent who's worked as a carer for over 20 years. Read on to find out all about David's experience of being a carer and why he thinks it's the most rewarding job in the world.
What brought you to care work?
I started doing care work when, in 1999, I embarked on a project with some friends, we brought a piece of land. It was good because I could work as a carer for 2-3 weeks and then go back and spend 2-3 weeks focusing on the project. Since then, all sorts of things have happened. I started my own company in Edinburgh, Scotland’s first eco-friendly cleaning company. I ran that for several years before selling it in 2013.
I’m an Aries so once I’ve mastered something I like to move on, accept with care work, that’s why I’ve been with this client for so long.
What type of care do you do?
I am a live-in carer for a lovely client. He lives halfway between my children. My daughter's in London and my son is in Broadstairs so it means I’m able to see them.
In the last few years I’ve specialised in dementia. I prefer working with older people. I have a slightly different philosophy especially when it comes to caring for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. I find that working long-term with the client is far better for the client and the carer’s mental health. It can take sometimes a few months to build up trust with an elderly person so they really understand the carer is there to look after them. To me that’s the most important thing, making them feel safe.
What do you enjoy about being a carer?
The reason I love care work is that to be kind is the easiest and the most rewarding thing in the world. If you can spend a day being kind, all sorts of thoughts come into your head that wouldn’t necessarily have come. That active kindness, all sorts of weird and wonderful things happen.
I also really relish not having to commute every morning. I love staying at home. There are beautiful walks around here, I like to walk and cycle a lot, exercise is very important to me.
How have you found using the Curam app?
I think it’s very easy especially now you’ve moved to Mango pay. The app is simple, very easy to use.
Have you always been self-employed?
I’ve been self-employed most of my life. Doing arts and crafts, being a director of my own company, being a director of the workers’ co-op.
The only work I’ve ever done where I’ve had an employer was right in the beginning when I managed restaurants and then a hotel and I worked at a couple of care agencies. I much prefer being self-employed, working through Curam.
What do you enjoy about being self-employed?
This is what I love about being self-employed through Curam is that I can do that, I end up having more spare time so I can still do other things in my life. I have my family, I’m involved with a peace institute that I do quite a lot of research and stuff for. Plus, I can make sure my client is always happy.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of joining the Curam community?
My experience of working with Curam has been one of the smoothest and simplest processes in care work that I’ve ever encountered. Working self-employed is always far more beneficial. The other thing I’ve found with Curam is that everyone I’ve spoken to at the office has been very friendly and very helpful and very obliging, never any problems.
Top tips for becoming a carer
Focus on your profile, make sure to highlight all of your skills, familiarise yourself with the app and always reply to clients, even if you are not available politely let them know. Lastly, if you have any questions simply ask Curam.
We’ve loved getting to know David and hearing about his experience of working as a self-employed carer with Curam. If you’d like to know more about becoming a carer, you can start your journey with Curam by downloading the Curam Carer App.