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5am – Oh joy, the alarm goes off. I jump out of bed and stagger to the bathroom. I scream as I realise the scary person facing me is in fact me. I am now wide awake ready to take on the world of caring. I grab my backpack and double check I have enough gloves, timesheets, aprons and, most importantly, the smile is on my face.
6.20am – I am running out of the door to do a 100 mile an hour dash to the bus stop ready to be with my first service user at 7am prompt.
6.55am – I meet my double up colleague at the entrance to my first call. We exchange our good mornings and at exactly 7am we enter the home of my first service user who usually greets us with a smile and cheerful “hello”. We have our regular morning chat and catch up with our service user to check how he is, how he feels and we check the communication logs from the night before to see if there are any issues or concerns we need to follow up on. We prepare ourselves (washing our hands, putting on gloves and aprons) and proceed to give our service user a full wash and shave. We leave at 8.30am and I make my way to my next call.
9am – My service user greets me at the door and we chat about the latest news, the weather and, of course, we make a fuss of his dear little dog who loves to bark at me until I acknowledge she is beautiful and I say “hello” to her. I make a cup of tea and get on with the domestic chores. I love listening to his conversations with his beloved dog who is clearly his best friend and, while I am there, mine too! I leave at 9.30am ready to catch the two buses to my next call at 10.30am.
10.30am – I arrive at my next call. My service user now can come to the door without a walking aid, which is fantastic, as only a few weeks ago he was using a walking frame. I praise his walking skills and we have a chat about current affairs. He also loves to hear what us carers have been up to outside of work. This service user loves his independence; therefore he informs me daily what he would like assistance with. Today he wants his back washed. I wash and dry his back and leave him to dress whilst I go and make the bed, clean the kitchen and make him a cup of tea. I then leave at 11am. Time to catch the mayhem of the two buses I have to catch to go back to my double up call for midday visit.
12 Noon – I meet my double up partner outside and we enter the home of our service user. We assist him whilst he is making his lunch and chat about the morning’s events and his plans to see his family at the weekend. Mission accomplished. Our service user enjoys his lunch with a glass of sherry and a smile!
12.40pm to 4pm – Freedom. I enjoy my break and visit the ‘goddesses’ at the Lewisham branch to give my feedback on anything that has arisen that morning. At 4pm I set off to catch the final two buses to my 5pm double up call.
5pm – We arrive at the next call. The service user is in a good mood and is very happy to see us. We hoist our service user to his bed and leave his favourite sport channel on the television and leave him as comfortable as possible with a cup of tea and a sandwich. We leave at 5.40pm and have a mad dash to catch the bus home.
6.30PM – I arrive home and just chill. Tomorrow is another day.