A learning disability can make communicating and processing information more difficult. Therefore, it is important to know about the different ways to communicate with children, young adults or adults with learning disabilities. In this article, we offer tips on how to communicate effectively with people with learning disabilities. We will talk about the management of communication needs in people with learning disabilities. This includes the following communication methods: · Non-verbal communication with learning disabilities · Verbal communication with learning disabilities · Alternative forms of communication for learning disabilities (resources and technology). Tips for communicating with someone who has a learning disability People with learning disabilities can find communicating and conversations challenging. This is because a learning disability can make it harder to process complicated information or meanings. Tips for verbal communication with learning disabilities It is important to be empathetic and clear when having a conversation with someone who has a learning disability. When talking to someone with a learning disability: · Ask the person with a learning disability how they would best like to communicate. · Use words and phrases that are accessible. · Let the person you are talking to lead the conversation. · Ask open questions instead of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. It can be difficult for someone with a learning disability to process the meaning of questions. · Try not to use phrases, idioms or long words that might be hard to understand. · Do not rush the person you are talking to. · Make sure you have understood what the person was meaning to say. · Check that you have understood what someone was saying by asking them (e.g., ‘I understood this..., is that right?’). Each person with a learning disability has their own unique symptoms and experience, and will have different needs when it comes to communication. Here are some other communication tips to bear in mind: · If possible, talk in person (conversations are clearer in person). · If you have to phone someone, speak in a slow, clear manner and use words that are easy to understand. · Communicate in a place without distractions (a quiet, calm space). · Try to talk one-to-one, or make sure people in a group wait their turn to talk and do not speak over one another. · Go after someone if they take you to show you something. · Make a note of someone’s body language and expressions, these can sometimes tell you more than words. · Use different communication tools (e.g., drawing, gestures, facial expressions). · Bear in mind that some people prefer communicating by using objects, photos or pictures. Tips for non-verbal communication with learning disabilities A learning disability can make it more challenging for people to take in information, especially if it is complex and dense. When creating written communication for someone with a learning disability: · Keep information simple and concise. · Use large text, bullet points and not too much colour. · Make sure you use a clear page lay-out · Use pictures to represent what is written You can also apply this information to online resources. Viewing information online can be a good option for people with learning disabilities as they can often change the text size, font and shape to best suit them. Moreover, it is possible to change the volume on videos and the speed of videos. Learning disabilities resources for communication Certain resources and technology can help people with learning disabilities to communicate or engage with information. These alternative forms of communication for learning disabilities are worth utilising if they work well for the individual you care for. Most learning disability communication skills resources use learning disability communication symbols. 3 of the best resources for people with learning disabilities include: · Makaton · Talking mats · Widgit Makaton Makaton is a programme that helps children or adults with learning disabilities to communicate independently. It utilises learning disability communication symbols, signs and speech. Talking Mats for learning disabilities Talking mats make communication simpler and easier. They help people with learning disabilities to organise their thoughts and express their feelings. Widgit for learning disabilities Widgit create software symbols to help people with learning disabilities understand information, and communicate easier. Widgit is very useful for people with learning disabilities that use computers and technology. Support for people with learning disabilities You many know a family member or friend who has a learning disability and needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one. There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation: · Call the Mencap Learning Disability Helpline - 0808 808 1111 · Find local learning disabilities services on the NHS. · These apps can help people with a learning disability. Support for carers Curam is creating a better care community. We understand that carers are highly skilled professionals with expertise and experience that is invaluable. Moreover, it is important that carers receive the support and help that they need. Introducing a personal assistant into a family’s life can give people the time they need to look after themselves whilst helping their loved ones receive the support they require. Here are a couple of places you can go for further support: · Go to Carers UK. · Get in touch with the Carers trust. · Consider respite care and other carer options with Curam.
02 December 2020
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability that affects someone throughout their lifetime, causing them to find certain day-to-day activities more difficult. Someone with a learning disability may take longer to learn and find it harder to process complex information. Some individuals with a learning disability need more help than others, but they often need support when interacting with other people or learning new skills. In this article we discuss the different types, symptoms, and causes, as well as how to get a diagnosis for a learning disability. Statistics on learning disabilities in the UK · Approximately 1.5 million people have a learning disability in the UK. · About 350,000 people in the UK have a severe learning disability. · Around 40% of autistic people have a learning disability. · About 30% of people with epilepsy have a learning disability. What are symptoms of a learning disability? Different people with learning disabilities have different symptoms, and people are affected in their own, individual way. However, people with a learning disability often find it hard to: · Understand complicated information · Develop new skills · Cope independently · Adapt behaviour to different situations · Interact with others · Control their behaviour People with a mild learning disability are able to talk easily and will not need as much support. Others, with a more profound learning disability may need full time care and may also have physical disabilities. Some symptoms that people with learning disabilities experience are caused by associated conditions of learning disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. Challenging behaviour Challenging behaviour (hitting, kicking, tantrums, throwing, self-harming) is not a learning disability, but people with a disability can show challenging behaviour. There are ways to manage challenging behaviour and it is important to understand it is often a way for someone to communicate that they are in pain or need something. Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Children and young people with learning disabilities may also have special education needs. This means that a child can find it difficult to: · Socialise and make friends · Read and write · Understand things · Concentrate · Carry out physical tasks Children with SEND may be able to receive extra support at school (including speech therapy), or receive an education, health and care plan (EHC plan) that identifies the support a person needs and sets up this support. What are the different types of learning disabilities? There are different types of learning disabilities, based on the severity of a person’s symptoms and the effect their learning disability has on their life. Someone can have a: · Mild learning disability. · Moderate learning disability. · Severe learning disability. · Profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD). Mild learning disability A mild learning difficulty can mean that someone needs help with activities such as managing finances, but will not need as much support as people with a more severe learning disability. People with mild learning disabilities may need longer than usual to develop new skills but they are typically able to live alone, travel alone and work. Moderate learning disability Some people with a moderate learning difficulty may need help with mobility, personal care and communication, but not for definite. The symptoms of a moderate learning disability will have more of an effect on a person’s daily life than those of a mild learning disability. Severe learning disability People with severe learning disabilities will need help with daily activities such as eating, dressing and washing. They will also need help with mobility and communication. A profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD) A PMLD means that someone’s independence and communication is significantly affected. A person with PMLD will need help with eating, washing and bathroom assistance. The symptoms of profound and multiple learning disabilities can include: · Difficulties with sight, · Difficulties with hearing, · Speech problems · Difficulty with movement. Someone with a PMLD will typically still be able to communicate and make decisions. With the right support and care, people with profound and multiple learning disabilities can have a good quality of life and do activities they enjoy. What is the difference between a learning disability and a learning difficulty? A learning disability is linked to an overall cognitive impairment and affects a person’s intellect, whereas a learning difficulty does not affect general intelligence (IQ). Moreover a learning difficulty tends to affect a specific form of learning, whereas a learning disability usually affects many parts of someone’s life. It is possible to have both a learning disability and a learning difficulty. Moreover, some people experience more than one learning difficulty at once, and someone can have a mild, moderate or severe learning difficulty. The most commonly known learning difficulties include: · Dyslexia · Dyspraxia · Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Dyslexia Dyslexia is the most well-known learning difficulty. It affects people’s writing and speaking as it makes processing information and concentrating difficult. Dyspraxia Dyspraxia affects a person’s movement and coordination. This can make driving, balancing and playing sport difficult. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ADHD affects a person’s behaviour. It can make someone feel restless, act impulsively or find it hard to concentrate. What causes a learning disability? A learning disability can be caused before, during or just after birth, whilst a baby’s brain is still developing. Sometimes there is no known cause for a learning disability. However, a learning disability can be caused by: · An accident or illness that occurs whilst a mother is pregnant. · A baby inheriting certain genes. · Not enough oxygen getting to a child’s brain, or a trauma to the head whilst being born. · A child being born too early. · An early childhood illness (such as meningitis), accidents or seizures. Getting diagnosed with a learning disability. It can be upsetting to get a diagnosis, but it is important to do so as it allows people to access the care and support they need during their life. · A learning disability can be diagnosed at any time in a person’s life. · It is possible to diagnose someone at birth or during their early childhood. · Some people never get diagnosed or wait years before getting diagnosed. Talk to a GP if you are worried about your child’s development. Difficulties with development can be caused by a child’s eyesight or hearing, a condition such as autism or a learning disability. After receiving a diagnosis, a person’s needs should be assessed by social services to help them find the support and care they need. Support for people with learning disabilities You many know a family member or friend who has a learning disability and needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one. There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation: · Call the Mencap Learning Disability Helpline - 0808 808 1111 · Find local learning disabilities services on the NHS. · These apps can help people with a learning disability.
02 December 2020
This article aims to inform you of the different care options available to people with learning disabilities. Caring for someone with learning disabilities can be a rewarding and challenging role. A professional learning disabilities carer can help clients to ensure that their family member or friend receives the right one-to-one support they need. People with learning disabilities may take longer to learn certain skills, and may find it harder to process complex information. A learning disability carer can help someone at home to have a better quality of life and greater independence. Care options for people with a learning disability Some individuals need more help than others as learning disabilities can range from the mild to the serious and profound. Some carers can help with intimate and personal care with people with learning disabilities, and others can support people with tasks such as administration and communication. It is important to consider all of the care options available so you can choose a learning disability care plan that is best suited to an individual. It is worth noting that a care plan for adults with learning disabilities should support an adult’s routine, interests and needs. Specialist learning disability care is available in the following care types: · Live-in care · Hourly care · Overnight care · Respite care Live-in care for learning disabilities At-home care is a good option for people with moderate, severe or profound learning disabilities. Live-in care offers people 24/7, one-to-one care in the comfort of their own home. A live-in personal assistant or carer is someone who consistently ensures the mental wellbeing and physical health of a person, and can assist someone who has a learning disability in the following ways: · Mobility and moving around the home · Washing and personal hygiene · Dressing and personal care · Communication and social interaction · Helping people to manage their finances and administrative tasks. · Helping someone to get a job. · Maintaining nutrition · Maintaining relationships · Companionship and fostering confidence · Using public transport and recreational facilities · Bathroom assistance and help with incontinence Hourly care for learning disabilities Carers can also be hired on an hourly basis to help you when you most need it. Short-term care can be useful at times of the day when a carer cannot be there for a loved one, or needs an extra pair of hands. Hourly care may be most helpful for adults with a mild learning disability as a carer could help them for a few hours a day, with tasks they find more challenging, such as administration, managing finances or filling out a form. Hourly care can also offer people with learning disabilities friendship and companionship. This aspect of hourly care is especially beneficial for young adults or children with learning disabilities. Overnight care for learning disabilities Overnight care is available to people with learning disabilities. As some people with learning disabilities find it hard to cope independently, having an overnight carer allows them the support they need for a good quality of life, independence and to prevent accidents. Carers can help throughout the night by: · Offering security and peace of mind · Assisting with mobility within the home, such as climbing stairs or getting into bed · Assisting with trips to the bathroom and incontinence · Offering on-hand help throughout the night Overnight carers offer sleeping night care or waking night care. If someone with a learning disability is unlikely to wake up during the night, then sleeping night care can offer peace of mind and is the best option. If someone with a learning disability wakes up a lot throughout the night, and needs assistance, waking night care will give them the help they need. Respite care for learning disabilities As a carer, it is important to take a break, respite care can offer a carer time away from their responsibilities. Caring for someone with learning disabilities can be a rewarding, but tiring role. Whether it’s because of family commitments, work commitments or a carer’s need to address their own health and mental wellbeing, respite care can provide necessary time off. Moreover, respite care can be a good way of trying out an alternative method of care. Professional support can present a good option for someone when planning for the future. As children with learning disabilities grow up, a professional carer may seem like a useful and necessary addition to their life so they can live as independently as possible. Care homes for learning disabilities Living in a care home can be a good option for some people with a learning disability. If care is required 52 weeks a year, 24 hours a day and someone with a learning disability cannot or does not want to live at home, residential services are an alternative option to home care. Care in the community for learning disabilities Community learning disability teams work throughout the UK to support people with learning disabilities. Search for your closest team on your council’s website, or search on the NHS. How much does learning disability care cost? In 2018/19 the cost of care for working age adults rose by 1.6% and care for an older person by 3.4%. Almost £6 billion was spent on care for people with learning disabilities. Over £6 Bn was spent on care for people who need physical support and almost £2000 million was spent on care for people with conditions that affect their memory or cognition. According to the NHS, at-home care can typically cost £20 per hour (this can vary depending on where a person lives). On average, in the UK a live-in carer can cost between £650 - £1,600 a week (depending on the level of care needed). With Curam, you only pay for the care delivered. Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements: · Hourly Care: You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour. · Overnight Care: Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am, and can cost a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14- £18 hourly for waking care. · Live-in Care: Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week. Prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees. Support for people with learning disabilities and their families You many know a family member or friend who has a learning disability and needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one. There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation: · Call the Mencap Learning Disability Helpline - 0808 808 1111 · Find local learning disabilities services on the NHS. · These apps can help people with a learning disability. · Go to Carers UK for support for carers. · Get in touch with the Carers trust if you need support as a carer.
01 December 2020
If you, or a friend, or family member has started needing help to cope with day-to-day tasks, the first stage of your care journey is to get a free social care needs assessment from your local council. In this article we will explain all the most important information you need to know about the ‘needs assessment’ process. What is a care needs assessment? A care needs assessment is an independent evaluation of the level of care or support that you currently need. It is normally carried out by an assessor who comes from the social services department of your local council. During the assessment, you can discuss and clarify your needs and goals with a qualified professional. Whether you need help to get dressed and carry out day-to-day tasks, or assistance in maintaining your social life or keeping up with your hobbies, the assessor can clarify the options available to you. These assessments usually have the end goal of helping you continue to live independently. What can you get from doing the assessment? Only by completing a needs assessment will the council be able to make an informed decision on whether you are eligible for: · A paid carer that provides practical support · Funding for equipment such as: a personal alarm, or walking equipment. · Funding for major or minor adaptations of your home · Day care for your child(ren), if either you or they are disabled · Access to lunch clubs and day activity groups · Help with parenting (parenting classes) · Care home admission How long is the care needs assessment process? Although there is no set timescale for the process to start, it normally takes from 4-6 weeks for the claim to be assessed. And once the assessment has been carried out, you normally get the results within a week. However, if you or your loved one have a rapidly deteriorating condition, with substantial ongoing care needs, it would be better to consider the NHS continuing healthcare fast-tracked assessment service. The care needs assessment interview lasts a least an hour and will be either face-to-face, over the phone or online (during the COVID-19 period, only contactless assessments will take place). Coronavirus and Care Assessments During the COVID19 pandemic emergency period your local council might trigger temporary powers (known as easements) that let them decide how, when and in what order they carry out these assessments. This may mean that your assessment takes longer than usual. However, councils must always give you at least all of the necessary information and advice as soon as they possibly can. What if your care needs are urgent? If you urgently need help, you can ask for an urgent care needs assessment. In these cases, the council may be able to provide you with an emergency care package until the assessment is carried out. How to prepare for the assessment? It is helpful to give as much detail as you can in the assessment, as this will ensure you receive the assistance you require. It is therefore helpful to reflect on some of the questions they might ask and prepare some notes on how you might answer in advance. An example of some of these questions are: · How are you managing with day-to-day tasks? (e.g. washing and dressing yourself, cooking) · Do your needs fluctuate? (At the moment you may be able to do something well, but in the past you may have struggled) · What are your choices and goals? (e.g. take up a new hobby, maintain/develop relationships, use and move about home safely, take part in education/work/ volunteering, look after children you have responsibility for) · What barriers are stopping you from achieving those goals? (e.g. you fear falling when leaving the house etc.) · What are your care preferences? (e.g. time of day, level of care desired) · What are your family’s needs? (e.g. do you have other family members who need assistance?) The assessor will also consider the various types of services, resources and advice that would help to prevent or delay further care needs from developing and help you to stay better for longer. Bring a friend or an advocate It is best to have a friend or relative with you during the assessment, this can help if you are unable to easily explain the challenges you may be facing. They may even help to take notes on what the assessor advises. If this is not possible you could use an advocate. Advocates are people who make sure you are heard and understood, their service is often available free locally. Find an advocate in your local area here. How do you apply? Apply for a needs assessment today by entering your postcode and filling out the form. Support with your application The whole process may seem daunting, especially if you are new to the world of care. Luckily, there are many organisations and charities, both nationally and locally, that are able to provide clear and unbiased support, as well as answers to your questions. Free phone helplines: · Age UK: 0800 678 1602 (Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.) · Independent Age: 0800 319 6789 · The Family Rights Group: 0808 801 0366 You can also access further free information on these websites: · NHS · Carers UK · Age UK (elderly needs assessment info) · Mind (mental health needs assessment info) What happens after the assessment? Once you have got the results of your assessment, if they council has deemed you eligible for support, they will then consult you to draw up a Care Plan. Alternatively, if they do not deem you eligible you can either challenge their assessment, or go ahead and hire a carer today through self-funding.
25 November 2020
Are you a carer thinking of joining Curam? Or maybe you are a client who wants to know how Curam carers feel about the platform? This article will tell you all about why our carers love to use our platform to find care jobs, and why you should too! Ever since Curam joined forces with Trustpilot in October, feedback has been flooding in about what it is like to work as a Curam carer. Trustpilot is a platform where people can share honest reviews about their experiences with Curam. These reviews let us hear what our carers really think and we have loved reading about how happy our self-employed carers are with our platform and service. Curam’s aim is to create a better care community for both carers and clients. Not only do our carers earn more (earning £15 per hour on average), but they also get to choose who they work for, and when they want to work. It is also great for clients as they have choice over who provides their care and control of when they get to receive care. Aside from the fact that carers earn on average 25% more when working with Curam (after tax and our fees), in our reviews, carers have told us the 5 best things about working with Curam: · Feeling happy and proud. · Being self-employed. · Curam’s carer support services. · The Curam app and website. · Easy admin and invoices. Curam carers are happy carers We were so pleased to hear that carers who used our platform felt content, happy and wanted to continue using our service. In fact, since working for Curam, Blessed 'has never been so happy’ and Caroline ‘would never look back’. One of the other feelings that carers told us they had when working with Curam was pride. Carers love our mission to create a fairer care community, and they saw that we have the drive to achieve it. In fact, our carers told us they loved our mission in their reviews: · Cheryl was ‘very happy to be affiliated with Curamcare’. · Gabriele told us that we were a ‘one-of-a-kind care company’ that has ‘shaken up the care industry’. One of our clients, Penny, said that it was ‘heart-warming’ to know that Curam carers receive a greater amount of their hourly pay rate compared with a care agency. This shows that Curam clients and carers really value one another. We believe that our platform also creates happy carers because they get to choose who they work for. Gabriele went on to tell us about how lovely her Curam clients had been, and how her care had allowed them to have a great birthday. This made Gabriele want to ‘help many more clients in the future’. Curam carers love being self-employed Wendy believes that ‘if you're looking for a self-employed opportunity in care work, Curam is a great platform to use’. Many other carers said they love being self-employed and would recommend Curam to other people looking for this type of work. Nicolette told us that Curam is a wonderful platform as it ‘gives you the opportunity to choose when, where and for who to work’. This flexible way of working is perfect for carers. Here's just a small selection of the many benefits our self-employed carers have experienced since working with Curam: · A better work-life balance. · More time to spend with friends and family. · More control over who they care for. · More flexibility to take time off work. · A better work-rest balance. · Support and feedback. Choosing who to work for helps carers to enjoy their job as they know what the person they are going to care for is like and can decide if they are the right fit for that person. Care work is a rewarding job, but it can be tiring. It's useful to know that a Curam carer can take a day off if they need it (with the support of their Curam ‘micro-team’). Caroline loves the fact that self-employed carers that work with Curam can ‘pick and choose [their] hours’. Finding the right balance between work and rest will help carers look after themselves and their health. Our platform helps self-employed carers to get the most out of care work. Annika also told us that ‘even though we're self-employed, we receive so much help and feedback from Curam’. In fact, Curam helps self-employed carers by making admin tasks easier and supporting them with insurance, service agreements and invoicing. Curam carers receive great support As Annika says above, one of the best things about Curam is our carer support service. Carers can rely on our carer support staff to: · Explain how Curam works. · Answer any questions. · Help carers use the Curam app and website. · Help solve any other issues Curam carers may have. There were many happy comments in our reviews about the support and service that Curam provides: · Cheryl said that our carer support staff were ‘professional, friendly and always on hand should any problems arise’. · Sophia thought that Curam has ‘great communication’. · Hunt believed that our carer support staff had a ‘helpful attitude’. · Loo gave a shoutout to Debbie for being helpful. Debbie is part of the awesome team that supports Curam carers. Great support and service makes carers feel confident. In fact, Blessed says: ‘I have so much confidence with [Curam], as l know they will give me support when l need it’. And it is true, we are always there for our carers. Curam also offers self-employed carers a discounted yearly membership to the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS) so that they can further their skills by taking part in low cost carer training. Curam will also soon be offering all approved Curam carers free online training via our training partners Qintil. Curam carers find our platform easy to use One of our main focuses at Curam is our technology. Our CuramCarer app makes it easy to find work as a self-employed carer. Our carers love how easy it is to use our app and website: · Nancy told us that ‘the app is simple and straightforward’. · Nicolette believes that ‘the recent app is brilliant' and ‘good for clients and carers’. · Wendy thinks that the ‘website is very easy to use’. Finding care work as a self-employed carer has never been so simple. In fact, Amanda told us that signing up was easy and says that ‘the Curam app is a great tool to message, draw up agreements and invoice clients, [as it’s] very straightforward and easy to use’. Curam carers get paid quickly and find admin easy As Amanda has told us, the Curam platform not only makes it easy to sign-up and find care work, it also makes all the admin that comes with being a self-employed carer easy. On the Curam app, the service agreement templates and invoice templates have been made for carers. Curam carers just have to fill in their details. Curam makes sending an invoice simple and fast. In fact, Wendy told us that ‘payments of all invoices [were] dealt with quickly and professionally’ when she worked with Curam. Earning quickly makes care work even more of a reward. We believe that self-employed carers should earn a fair wage, and they should receive it on-time. That is why Curam guarantees payment from clients (as long as a service agreement is made before work). We also make sure that carers get paid a better wage and offer the lowest commission fees in the sector (12.5%+VAT). Become a Curam carer now! Finding care work has never been so easy, and we are creating a fairer care community. If you want to work as a self-employed carer, and you like Curam’s mission and platform, then sign up as a Curam carer today! We are helping you to find care work near you and making sure you are paid a fairer wage for your work. You will be able to choose where you want to work, when you want to work, and who you want to work for. We also promise to give you the best service and support and to make admin and invoices easy. You can start providing care as a Curam carer after you complete these 3 simple steps: · Step 1: Download the CuramCarer app and create an account · Step 2: Build your profile. · Step 3: Book your online interview & go live on the platform! A huge thank you to our carers We's like to say a massive thank you to all of the carers that have left us reviews and told us all about why they love working as self-employed Curam carers. Read the rest of our reviews from clients and carers on Trustpilot. We are always here to support you and help you get the best out of our platform.
24 November 2020
Care homes have been heavily impacted by the 2020 pandemic. The safety of residents has been at the centre of procedures designed to manage the impact of Covid-19. Residential homes face mounting pressure to keep pace with safety regulations, source protective equipment and maintain staffing levels. Care homes have adapted well to the changes, labouring on in an uncertain environment. Changes have been necessary to ensure the safety of the residents and carers. Testing, tiers, lockdowns and limited social contact are just some of the restrictions residents have had to adapt to. This has been difficult, especially for dementia residents. Despite these measures, the government now recognises the virus has been devastating for care homes. Since the peak of the virus in March 2020, the increase of requests for live-in carers has been dramatic. Families are seeking safe, alternative care arrangements for their loved ones. Looking for new ways to limit the impact of the virus on their lives. Curam gives you control in your care. You choose the hours, the person and how you want to be cared for. A live-in carer through Curam could be the perfect solution for care during the pandemic. Here’s some of the ways a Curam live-in carer could help: PERSONAL CARE One of the greatest challenges for care homes is providing safe personal care. Residents and staff are used to mixing together. Many carers come into close contact with several people over the day. Close interaction like this, can increase the risk of the virus spreading - even with preventative measures like PPE. ● Anyone who lives in your private home - and you are in close, personal contact with - is counted as part of your ‘bubble.’ This includes your carer. Your carer works exclusively for you. By not mixing with others outside of your bubble, the chance of catching the virus is significantly reduced. SOCIALISING A home-like environment is what people seek in a care home. The chance to socialise with other residents, take part in activities and interact with staff and visitors in the communal areas. One of the saddest consequences of Covid-19 has been the necessary restriction of face-to-face contact. Being with a limited number of people in a ‘bubble’ is often not possible. The result has meant many residents now live in isolation. ● Live- in carers are a safe, secure and sociable alternative to care homes. You can be included in a ‘bubble’ in your home with your carer, and family if you wish. The greatest benefit of Curam is the ability to choose your own carer, someone you feel you would connect with, enjoy their company and who you trust to care for you. ATMOSPHERE Care homes have persevered through a period of rapid and continuing change. Being able to meet safety regulations, staffing levels and provide PPE equipment has been challenging. Care homes are being put under pressure. Some residents have felt the atmosphere change. Sadly, some have lost friends. Funeral limits, and places of worship being forced to close, have put a pause on the usual paths for mourning. ● Living with family, or independently, with the support of a live-in carer can bring consistent, familiar peace to the atmosphere of a home. Continuity of care is guaranteed. What’s more, a live-in carer can help you access social or religious events safely online, helping you feel connected to friends and family. STAFFING Testing is improving, which allows care homes to better monitor the health of their care staff and residents. With school closures and track and trace notifications, many care staff are unable to work, causing staff shortages. ● A live-in carer is contracted to work only for you, in your home. There are few reasons which could prevent them from continuing work. They are limited in their contact with others and in their responsibilities outside of your home. Most Curam carers are in ‘micro teams’, connected with other local carers who, in an emergency, could provide care at short notice. DEMENTIA CARE Care home residents who live with dementia conditions can be known to ‘wander’ as a consequence of feeling confused by their environment. Unfortunately, this is one way the virus can spread, as it’s hard to prevent people from touching surfaces or mixing with others. ● Dementia can make a person confused. Living at home with a familiar, live-in carer is beneficial - they can explore their space safely, knowing it is not shared with others. ● The necessity to conceal faces with masks can also be alarming. As part of your ‘bubble’, a live-in carer is not required to wear a face mask when administering care (with the agreement of both parties). RETURNING FROM HOSPITAL Many routine procedures were postponed in the initial phase of the pandemic. Over the summer, patients have returned for delayed operations and procedures. This winter, the NHS will treat the usual consequences of seasonal flu and pneumonia. Testing for patients leaving hospital has not been rigorous, creating a cause of concern for care homes. ● Transfer out of hospital is quickest when your care plan is already in place. A private live-in carer through Curam can be arranged through the Curam app in minutes. Many Local Authorities use us for this reason: to quickly discharge patients from hospital, home to safe care. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CARE WITH CURAM If you are interested in finding out more about live-in care, domestic care, hourly care or personal care assistants, please get in touch. Curam is the UK’s largest online source of self-employed carers. We are proud to give our clients choice in their care. The Curam app is simple to use and hosts the personal profiles of thousands of carers available to hire right across the UK. Read more online or request a call back - we’re always happy to help. We are Curam: a fairer care community.
26 November 2020
How to write a great carer profile? Rest assured, it’s not hard when you know the basics. This Curam guide will help you improve your carer profile and give you the hints and tips needed to write what clients want to read. A good profile is a powerful way to market yourself to clients and a great help in getting new job offers. Putting it simply, writing a great profile is the best way to attract clients. Our clients rely on carer profiles to help choose who to contact for work. The information in your profile is much more than a CV - it’s a chance to let your personality shine through. Care is about people, and the relationships we create. Care is a role which requires empathy, compassion and patience. Care is about closeness, the joy of supporting others to live independently, giving respite to struggling family members and helping people find peace at the end of their lives. Here’s our guide to writing a great carers profile. The Carer app contains sections for: Contact details and rates Your qualifications and professional training courses: eg. NVQ levels, health & safety, Your expertise: e.g late stage dementia care Household duties: eg. administration, washing etc Personal care duties: eg. bathroom assistance, grooming etc Your interests and hobbies A personal bio The ‘My Bio’ section - is the part of your personal profile which summarises all your skills. It’s the first impression you give clients. THREE WORDS A good way to write a profile is to describe yourself in three words. The most successful profiles contain words and phrases which clients want to see. · Compassionate · Caring · Kind · Friendly · Approachable · Good listener · Empathetic · Experienced · Professional · Hard working · Excellent communication skills · Skilled · Patient PROFILE 1: “I am kind, hardworking and a good communicator.” PROFILE 2: “I am patient, a good listener and enjoy working closely with others - especially older people.” PROFILE 3: “I am friendly, chatty and hard working.” INTRODUCTION Three word phrases are a good introduction for a carer profile - but they don’t work on their own. You need to give them meaning with short examples. Start by saying how many years experience you have as a carer. PROFILE 1: “I have 7 years experience working in the care industry and have developed a compassionate approach. I work hard to get to know my clients, so I can help them enjoy their interests and hobbies. PROFILE 2: “I have more than 10 years experience as a carer. I enjoy listening to older people, I am a very patient person and am always happy to work at my clients pace, following their lead. PROFILE 3: “I have worked as a carer for 9 years now and work very efficiently. I enjoy my job and like talking with clients as I perform my duties. EXPERIENCES Next, you need to tell clients what areas of care you can perform. It’s important to be honest so you find the right client. Some areas to consider are: Conditions specialism (dementia, autism, stroke, children) Skills (grooming, cooking, driving) Types of care (hourly, overnight, live-in, respite) PROFILE 1: “I have worked with people with dementia, chronic conditions and I have provided end of life care. Recently, I provided care for stroke rehabilitation including speech and language therapy. I also have experience of anxiety and depression care.” PROFILE 2: “I have worked in end of life care for many years, helping to make clients comfortable at home as a live in carer. I work well with other palliative care team members, such as doctors, and also with supporting family members with respite care.” PROFILE 3: “I am experienced in personal grooming and I enjoy helping clients look their best. I can assist with hygiene, toileting, eating, cooking, cleaning and any administrative tasks which need support. I have a full clean driving license and enjoy taking clients out to meet friends.” WHY CARE? What made you become a carer? Do you have experiences outside of care which are interesting or relevant? A short answer can give clients a reason to believe you are the best. PROFILE 1: “Before becoming a carer, I worked as a primary teacher for 20 years, I enjoyed the experience of working with children.” PROFILE 2: “I became a carer while looking after my partner. When he died, I decided to carry on, working as a live-in carer to support people with end of life needs.” PROFILE 3: “I love looking after other people, when my children left home, I decided to become a carer and continue what I’m good at.” ABOUT YOU Care is about the relationships we create. Clients often want to know if they share interests or hobbies - this can create a good connection with a new carer. PROFILE 1: “I love reading, especially crime fiction novels. I am part of my local church and help to run the childrens activities. Last year, I got a Scottish terrier puppy called ‘Bobby’ and I love taking him on long walks.” PROFILE 2: “I am a good cook! It’s a big part of my life and I love trying out new recipes. I can bake well and once won a competition for my pineapple turnover cake.” PROFILE 3: “I’m passionate about sport - both watching and playing. I’m a Manchester United fan and play 5 a side every week with my friends.” SIGN OFF A goodbye, could turn into a hello. Encourage clients to contact you by keeping your sign off brief, polite and friendly. PROFILE 1: “Please get in touch if you think I could help you.” PROFILE 2: “Contact me, and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Thank you.” PROFILE 3: “Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.” Each carer profile is unique - that’s because you are! The best Curam carer profiles present their skills and experience, provide short professional examples and let a bit of their personality show. Good luck! If you have any questions, please get in touch, so we can help you stand out on the Curam carer App.
26 November 2020
Are you looking for a self-employed carer? Maybe, you’re thinking how to make your care budget stretch a little further. Perhaps, you’re fed up with an agency system that is slow, outdated and leaves you with little choice in your care provision. If this sounds like you, Curam can solve your search for great value, professional care. We do things differently - we are a fairer care community. I’ve never heard of Curam, what makes you different? Our mission is to improve the lives of carers and clients with a fairer system of care provision. Our website and apps connect self-employed carers directly with clients all across the UK. We are a digital introduction, which nurtures real-life relationships. Our technology allows clients to pay less for a chosen carer who earns more. By offering choice Curam enables clients to live independently at home with a carer they can trust. Can I trust Curam? Yes. We are currently the UK’s largest online source of carers. Many Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and individual clients trust us to find experienced self-employed carers every day. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the independent reviews of our service on Trust pilot. Is it expensive? No. Curam was created with a radical objective - build an online community of self-employed carers where everyone benefits from a fee structure which values great care. What does that mean? It means you pay less for a carer who earns more. Uniquely, Curam has the lowest commission fee in the sector. This is included in the carer’s advertised rate. There is no additional cost to you. On average, our carers charge £15 an hour and earn £13.10. As one of our clients said “I had no idea my agency was taking 45% in fees. I felt it was unfair as my carer worked hard and was fantastic company. I feel good knowing Curam makes sure my carer is paid well.” What is the difference between an Agency and a Self-Employed Carer? An agency employs carers and decides where and when they work. A self-employed carer works for themselves and is liable for their own tax and National Insurance contributions. As a client, you do not employ them. So you pay for their services in a similar way you would from a care agency. The main benefit with a Curam self-employed carer is that most of what you pay goes directly to them. This arrangement elevates their pay from £8.75 an hour to £13.10* - at no extra cost to you. You can hear from real Curam carers about what it’s like being self-employed. Who chooses a carer for me? You. Curam has thousands of self-employed carers which our clients are free to review, interview and speak with before they choose to hire them. It’s care the way you want it. Once you’ve found a carer you think is a good fit, you can negotiate rates and hours which fit your lifestyle and care needs. I’m worried there’s lots of work involved in hiring self-employed carers. No. We and the carer take care of all the admin side - that’s what our commission pays for. While using a self-employed carer, many people assume they’ll be burdened with DBS checks, tax and insurance. Not with Curam. Curam will: · Provide a secure online payment system · Verify all carers’ eligibility to work in the UK, check references, qualifications and enhanced DBS · Facilitate the process of you hiring an experienced, insured and vetted carer I’m not confident with technology - how do I use Curam? Curam was designed to be simple to use. It is free to join with no contracts, so becoming part of the community is easy. We have a website and you can now download our Client and Carer Apps. There are two easy ways to find a Curam self-employed carer: OPTION 1: Sit back and wait Sign up Tell us your care needs and we will advertise for you through our Jobs page Sit back and wait for carers to contact you OPTION 2: Browse through the community Sign up & create a job post Search the carers who are available in your area Filter those who meet your care needs Shortlist the carers you think are a good match and make contact through the site Select your carer - you can get in touch through the platform to agree rates and services Enjoy your care - we will administer the contracts and organise payments I’m worried I’ll be left without care if my carer is off sick. Curam was established to improve the quality of care provision in the UK. Part of that is to support our carers. So, we designed our ‘micro-team’ system - a small community of local carers who help each other. If your carer is unwell, or unable to work at short-notice and you would like a member of their micro-team to take their place, they may be able to help. It’s an optional support system, but it can also be used for times when you need extra services if you would like them. The micro-teams are familiar with each other and able to share information quickly to support their clients. Do you need any more information? If there’s anything you’re unsure about, our friendly Curam team is more than happy to help. Get in touch and let us help you find a self-employed carer who is right for you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 01387 730 766 *Average Curam carers charge £15 an hour and receive £13.10 of that, once Curam have taken a 12.5%+VAT commission fee (as of 1st November 2020). A typical agency fee is between £18-20, with a carer taking on average £8.75.
26 November 2020
It can be hard to choose between the round-the-clock care options that are currently available. If you’re considering the idea of residential care homes, but can’t face the bill which comes with it, what are your options? Thankfully there is a safe, secure and caring alternative: live-in care. If you’re thinking, but I need home care, then Curam can help. We are the UK’s largest online platform for self-employed carers and have thousands of live-in carers working with clients all across the country. Thousands of families across the UK benefit from the services of experienced live-in carers, who look after loved ones night and day. We offer the best choice of live-in care for elderly people, those with short-term medical needs or care seekers who require assistance with tasks 24 hours a day. Why Live-in care? Live-in carers move into your home to care for you in the hours you need it. You could be considering live-in care for the first time or you might already have a live-in carer but need to consider additional live-in carers to facilitate breaks or respite for your current carer. Services which live-in carers can provide are varied and tailored to meet the needs of their individual client. This could be to assist with physio as someone recovers from an operation. It may be to prompt their client to take their medication, change dressings and help with hygiene. Live-in carers also provide security, helping those who are most vulnerable to feel safe and secure in their home. They also offer respite, so a family carer can take a break or go on holiday. The main benefit of a live-in carer from Curam? The ability to choose the carer who comes to stay. Where To Find Live-In Carers There are many considerations when choosing live-in care - perhaps the biggest is, will you get on with them? Inviting a carer into your home to live in with you is a daunting prospect for many people. This is why, with Curam, you are welcome to trial your live-in carer before you commit to hiring them. There is currently a significant number of carers working through Curam as live in-carers. We receive almost universally positive feedback from our clients, which you can view on our Trust pilot review page. Why? Because Curam offers choice. You can find out more about how Curam approves live-in carers, but ultimately you decide which carer you feel comfortable living alongside. Keeping a feeling of control is very beneficial when we need to rely on others. Who Needs Live-In Care? Many people need live-in care. Sometimes, the decision is thrust upon you after an accident. A care plan for a broken hip may specify round-the-clock care. Live-in care can be an excellent option, especially in the short term, allowing you to be discharged quickly from hospital. Once at home, you have time to consider all the options available for future care. For people living with dementia conditions, life can be hazardous, confusing and unsettling. Remaining at home can bring comfort and peace and continuity of care is key. A carer who lives in your home can safely maintain the familiar routines of home. Live-in Care or Residential Care Home? Residential care homes provide every service available through a large workforce of specialist staff. For some, this will be the only safe option for care provision. The costs of residential care vary depending on needs, location and availability. It can be frustrating to not find a suitable space near to family and friends. Looking for care services in London is easier than say, rural Cornwall where demand for spaces is higher. Live-in care is often a more cost-effective alternative and allows you to stay at home for longer. Benefits of Live-in Care Dedicated care A live-in carer provides focussed care throughout the day and night. The care seeker is the only person they look after, there are no other distractions or responsibilities. A live-in carer is dedicated to just one person. 2. Limiting Contact Limiting contact with others is another reason many people prefer live-in care over residential care. The pandemic in 2020 saw a huge surge in live-in care requests. Families sought ways to keep family members safe from external factors which spread disease, such as visitors and rotating carers. 3. Home Safety There are dangers at home. A live-in carer can identify trip hazards and prevent accidents and falls, allowing a person to navigate their home safely. Being in your home means they’re on hand through the day or night. 4. Protecting the vulnerable Other risks for vulnerable people come in the form of unscrupulous cold callers by telephone or through doorstep campaigns. A live-in carer can help limit the impact of these unwanted visitors. 5. Dementia Care Having a continuous, familiar carer who lives with you can be a blessing to those living with dementia. The benefits of remaining at home with a carer are enormous for those who struggle with Alzheimers. Continuing life in peaceful, safe and recognisable surroundings can improve the quality of life not just for the individual, but also reassure family members. 6. Lifestyle What happens to the cat? One of the most painful consequences of residential care is the separation of pets. Many care homes will not allow animals as they have the health of other residents to consider. For many isolated people, pets bring joy and comfort. Live-in carers often extend their compassion to four legged friends - walking, feeding and grooming them so they remain at the heart of your home. 7. Independence For families who live far away, a live-in carer is an essential point of contact for when they want updates or to visit their loved one. There’s no need to leave messages, go through a switch board or stick to the strict regulations of visiting hours. Friends and family can reach a live-in carer instantly, bringing peace of mind and comfort when it’s needed. Find A Live-In Carer Today Curam live-in carers provide assistance with personal hygiene, companionship and domestic tasks in your home. They are insured, vetted and experienced - available to help you whenever you need it and chosen by you. If you’re thinking of hiring a live-in carer, call us on 01387 730766 and we’ll happily answer any queries and walk you through the entire process of finding live-in care that’s right for you. Alternatively you can drop us an email to: email@example.com
19 November 2020
“I am surprised to say this, but I’m worried about lockdown easing.” At 67, Susan isn’t the only one feeling this way. After months of adjusting to restrictions at home it felt unnerving for her to give up that security and step out into society again. “I’m a sociable person, I do a lot of volunteering, I can chat to anyone. I suppose, now, I’ve got used to being alone.” As lockdown restrictions ease, our reactions will be different. Bars and restaurants are open. For the social butterflies among us, it’s bought sweet relief from the monotony of lockdown. Coming out to see friends and family, (at a social distance) for the first time in months will boost mental health for many lonely people. For those who have been shielding, vulnerable to the virus or living with mental health conditions, coming out of lockdown may be difficult. As the familiar patterns of life return, it will take time to emotionally adjust to the ‘new normal’. Face masks, queues, travel restrictions, one-way systems, testing - are all measures to keep us safe, but in ways which seem alien. For Susan this felt unnerving. “It’s like nothing I have ever experienced. I felt scared about seeing people. It felt overwhelming to come out to the supermarket. I was worried I would have a panic attack. Before lockdown, I would never have said that.” Help is at hand. We can all discover ways to embrace social changes with a positive attitude, and find ways to feel confident as we come out of lockdown. Staying Connected If you’re anxious about getting out, ease yourself in slowly. Social occasions might work better in the park or a garden where there’s breeze and plenty of space to distance. Stick to Zoom or Facetime for friends who are vulnerable and don’t commit to seeing too many people. If you’re heading back into work, speak with your employer. They will have strategies for safe working. It may reassure you to talk through your concerns first. Don’t feel you have to hit the shops - if you’ve successfully switched to online groceries and deliveries then stick to what works. Getting Out and About From the 24th July face masks are required when travelling on public transport or when in confined spaces like shops. The science and advice is changing frequently but following the guidance is the way to keep everyone safe. Forming a new habit can be hard. If you’re the organised type then you’ll have a face mask in your bag, glove box or coat pocket ready and waiting. If you’re not, then you might want to set a reminder on your phone or stick a note by the door before you go out. Fear Change causes tension within us. Sometimes we embrace it and sometimes it scares us. Fear can manifest itself in different ways - we might lash out verbally, or physically, or feel panicked. It’s the ‘fight or flight’ reflex kicking in. These feelings are normal. Try to see them objectively, acknowledge them and let them go. Stepping into a new environment is always challenging, but it will feel ‘normal’ again. This situation is unique to everyone. There will always be people you feel are not following the rules. Try not to judge others too quickly. Everyone is adjusting to new habits, new environments and returning back to busy lives. If you feel your frustration bubbling over, speak to an empathetic friend and try not to comment through social media. It’s better to vent and let it go. Eat well and Exercise The foundation of good health, whether mental or physical is through a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active. If you’ve developed a gardening habit during lockdown, keep it up. Or, take a socially distanced stroll in the park with a friend. Even a jaunt around your neighbourhood will keep your endorphins going (the happy hormone) and you’ll benefit from the fresh air. Build up your resilience Nervous about lockdown easing? Celebrate the small wins. Try to pace yourself and take one new challenge at a time. Visit friends one-to-one. Go to your local shop at a quiet time of day - maybe first thing in the morning. Take a bus into town, start to familiarise yourself with how things are for now. Don’t forget to take hand sanitiser with you. Each time you try a new activity, give yourself a pat on the back. Each time, it will feel easier. Keep going, keep challenging yourself and keep giving yourself credit. Keep Connected If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone. Don’t dismiss your anxiety or judge yourself too harshly. Be kind to yourself. Use web chats or Facetime to speak with friends, many of whom may appreciate the chance to share similar worries. A final note from Susan is the best advice: “I’ll keep checking the guidance and try not to put too much pressure on myself. Be kind to yourself is what I always say.” Coming out of lockdown will vary depending on your location within the UK. To find what current guidance on what you can and can’t do check the links below: ENGLAND WALES SCOTLAND NORTHERN IRELAND
24 July 2020
Nothing changes until it’s broken. And the care system is kaput. Broken. In pieces. Too much doom and gloom? Sadly, it reflects the frustrations of those currently seeking a carer. Until now, service users have had to grab a pen, fill out forms, telephone and wait for a carer to arrive. It’s a mystery who is coming, you hope they’re what you need. Then you hand over your care budget at roughly £18-20 an hour. Did you know the carer who arrives is often paid only £8.60 per hour? No wonder so many are leaving the industry. They are woefully under-valued. “I didn’t realise my agency was taking 50% of my care budget. I know they have costs to cover, but it honestly didn’t occur to me that my carer - who was fantastic and really understood our family’s needs - was only getting £8.75 an hour. I’m devastated he quit, but now I understand.” Clare, Gloucester. We hear you. It’s a frustrating situation for everyone. Well, we didn’t think this was an efficient or safe way to deliver care. Not for the 21st Century when so many more people are seeking ways to continue living life, independently at home. So we designed Curam to make it far easier to connect self-employed carers with clients online. It’s safe, efficient and best of all, it allows clients to pay less for a carer who earns more. That’s the reason we’re the UK’s largest source of verified searchable carers. So how does it help you make your care budget stretch further? A radical new model of care You browse our site, shortlist and select a carer of your choice and pay them a negotiated rate. On average that’s £15 an hour. You can see that’s a £3-5 saving already. Curam’s carers earn on average £12.75 per hour after our fees and VAT, almost double the national rate. You can see how that’s more motivating to an experienced carer - they feel valued for their work. We take our commission rate - which is the lowest in the sector at 12.5%+VAT- from the carer. Our fee not only covers the costs of marketing for carers, but also includes carer insurance, DBS checks and a secure online payment system. That way everyone feels safe and secure. It’s a radical new approach and it’s our technology which lets us pass the benefits on to clients and carers. The savings you make can be kept as savings. Or, you can use the difference to purchase additional hours or services. Again, giving clients the choice to shape their care. Needs Assessments Care Budget If you have had a needs assessment recently, your local council will decide what financial contributions you will receive towards your care and support. Did you know some Local Authorities use Curam already? They spend the money in your personal budget directly with us, arranging for your care and support based on your agreed care plan. You still have a say in whether this care plan is appropriate and what you want. The reason they choose us? Curam can deliver care quickly, safely and within budget constraints. Direct Payments Care Budget If you receive direct payments for your care provision, you are able to choose the care provider you wish. This gives you greater flexibility to arrange your care and decide how it’s provided. Using your Care Budget directly with Curam As you can see, the main benefit of Curam is your care budget will go further! It doesn’t stop there. With Curam you can: -Search, interview, shortlist and choose a carer who is right for you -Have consistent, familiar care with a carer you have chosen -Enjoy the company of someone who speaks the same language as you (many Curam carers have a second language) -Benefit from the expertise of a carer who understands your care needs -Choose exactly when and how you want care delivered - live in, hourly, domestic, medical - it’s up to you. Managing your Care Budget As Curam manages all transactions through our secure online payment system, is it simple to provide evidence for how your personal care budget is being spent. “What I like about Curam is I know my carer is taking home almost double what they used to earn. It’s nice to know it’s not costing me a penny more but they get a big boost.” Clare - Gloucester. Curam works differently because we believe that care of great value comes from valuing great carers. Be a part of our fairer care community and sign up today.
14 July 2020
Did you know the Beatles wrote a song about care? Okay, not directly about care. As a 1960s band, they had no experience working as a personal carer - but they did understand what makes us happy. Something Carole, who’s been a carer for 22 years, knows too. “Honestly, it’s wonderful, I learn and laugh so much every day.” Modern life is busy, full of pressure, expectation and numerous challenges. Most of us want to feel that we are in control of our working lives, that we have the choice and flexibility to enjoy life on our own terms. So how can we make our day ‘wonderful’? More to the point - what exactly is Carole doing that makes her life so different? It turns out, the secret to happiness is... helping others. We spoke to several Curam carers who believe a career as a self-employed carer is a happy one. The act of caring for another, of putting someone else’s needs first, is what gives them satisfaction and meaning. Not convinced? Here’s an ancient proverb from China: “If you want happiness for a lifetime - help someone else.” Apparently, it works both ways. Hundreds of clients tell us how their carer has transformed their lives. Often, it’s the gift of time which is most appreciated. They cherish having someone to speak with, laugh with, share their worries with. Finding that real connection with another person. “I choose to work in care because I have a lot to give, a lot of experience.” Carole has been a carer for two decades and her beaming smile shows she’s not ready to quit. “I love older people; I like to be around them and I feel I have a real connection with them. They will tell you stuff from yester-year that you had no idea about. They're always funny. Yes, I help them, but I learn a lot too.” Carole has been a carer for 22 years. For Ivan, who works as a self-employed carer, it’s the little things which motivate him. “It’s not about the money. It’s about sharing my compassion, kindness and love for people in the right way. I’m a happy person, I want to share that. I like making a difference to people’s lives.” Many carers enjoy helping clients navigate everyday problems. In ten years as a carer, Ivan has seen the value that adds. “When you are working together to help a client reach a goal it’s brilliant.” Ivan loves being able to fit his work around spending time with his family. He recalls how he helped a client embrace new technology. “He was struggling with an old phone and worried he would lose contacts and photos if he changed. For me, it was simple. Together we went to the shop, I helped him explain to the sales assistant exactly what he needed. In an hour we left with a new handset which was easier to use. He gained some confidence and it’s little moments like that which are a delight.” Thinking about the needs of others is at the heart of great care, something Clare was able to consider from both sides. “The thing that steered me towards live-in care was that I had a partner diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Within ten months, he died. We lived the craziest life; we had the best and worst of times. Afterwards, I thought, I can do this. I can create a difference in someone’s life. I can shape the quality of it. That’s what I like about care work.” The relationship between carer and service user is what makes Curam unique. Carole explains how choice has made her work more enjoyable. “Choice is very important to clients. The personal care services we give means the client must be happy with the service they receive and happy with the carer. Being able to choose your carer helps create a relationship which works well.” “I was able to write my own profile to attract people to me on the platform. That’s important. My current clients saw my skills and experience and chose me based on that.” Like all Curam carers, Carole was able to create a profile which service users can read before they decide to message her. As a palliative carer, speaking with clients before accepting a job gives Clare more confidence in her role. “I want them to know I can make a difference to the whole family. They can see I am giving everything, so they can enjoy the company of their loved one as fully as possible for their last few weeks of life.” Clare strongly believes that care must be client-centred.Choice gives flexibility, something Ivan thinks makes caring fun. “You can be more creative, energetic, and closer to the wishes of the clients when you are self-employed. I have more freedom. Hours which suit both me and my client. This gives me more time to spend with my family.” Care work is flexible. It fits around other commitments which bring us closer to home. It’s something Carole knows is vital for her clients too, “Home is where we feel most happy. I love that care workers help people stay in their own home to continue to live independently. For me, that’s so important.” Living at home with clients, Clare saw how happiness came from shifting expectations. “Care needs to be client centred. A gentle, natural rhythm and progression of care, so they have a nice day. Life changes all the time. Every day is a different day. Every day has an opportunity.” So, what do the Beatles have to do with working as a carer? It’s back to Carole to explain. With her experience, she knows working as a carer can be a challenge, but also hugely rewarding. “Consider what it really all means. All you need is love. All the clients I look after just need love and attention. It’s a special song to me, because it’s so true.” There’s a reason why we are the largest online source of carers in the UK - we do things differently. We offer choice and value our great carers. Join our fairer care community today. Looking for a carer? Join here – there are no upfront fees. Carer? Sign up and join thousands who’ve made the easy switch to self-employed care.
08 June 2020