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Ethan's Story: A Live-in Carers Journey

A day in the life of a Live-in carer is all about putting a smile on someone's face and providing the right support they can depend on. It's not always easy, but the rewards and connections that come with it are worth it. 

After speaking with Ethan, we’re sharing the Exeter based Live-in carer’s story and how he started his journey on becoming a carer who ensures his client gets to live life to the fullest. Whilst also shedding light on his personal experience on how he made the career change and how he found joining the Nurseplus Care at home team. 

So Ethan, did you have any care experience before becoming a Live-in carer for Nurseplus?

Not exactly, I come from a very caring family; a few years back my mum, sister and I moved into a woman called Jude’s house as my mum was her Live-in carer. Jude lived in a large home and needed someone to care for her, so my mum took the job. As a household we all helped making drinks, cooking lunches and spending time with Jude. I remember how it made me feel helping her out, going to bed at night and knowing I’d made a difference in her life that day was so rewarding. Helping people has always been a part of who I am but apart from that I had no previous care experience.

What you led you to apply for Nurseplus? 

After the Covid pandemic started easing up, I was looking for more stable and reliable work. I was working for a recruitment agency, but the work was really irregular and there just wasn’t enough of it so I was struggling to keep myself afloat. My auntie Sarah came round one weekend for a coffee and brought up the idea of a career in care. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about it before. I hopped online on Indeed and an advert for Nurseplus popped up. I always do a bit of research before I apply to a job and the company reviews were great. It was really easy to find information on the company and the application process was really simple.

What appealed to you about becoming a Live-in carer?

The Live-in role interested me because it seemed like an adventure. I felt that sometimes working in a care home setting, you can’t always deliver that personal touch, or give as much independence to someone as they would have living in their own home. I liked the fact it was flexible with how many weeks, or months, in my case I wanted to work and it just seemed like a great fit for me. It’s also a nice security factor knowing where you are at all times and what you have to do.

How did you find the recruitment journey with Nurseplus? 

The recruitment process with Nurseplus was quick and I was kept updated throughout. It took around 2-3 weeks in total. I applied online and within the first 24-hours I had a reply with an online form to fill out. After that I was contacted by the lovely Live-in Care Co-ordinator, Hayley, and was told that I would have a telephone interview to find out more about me as a person and why I wanted to work in care. We spoke in depth about who I am, where I’m going and what interested me.

It was reassuring to me that the client’s needs came first, but also that they care about their staff being happy and comfortable. All of this gave me peace of mind and I knew that Nurseplus wouldn’t place me to care for somebody that I wouldn’t get along with.

After the call I was asked when I would be able to attend the training days, which I was booked in for the following week in the Nurseplus Exeter branch. This stage of the application process only took around a week in total. 

How did you find the training course? 

I attended Nurseplus’ "New to care" training, which was 2 days long and then a day course for the administration of controlled medication. There were around 6 of us on the training as well as our trainer, Nigel. I really enjoyed it; it was informative and engaging, a nice first step. When I left, I felt that I was prepared for this work and knew exactly what I was walking into. Nigel was fantastic and really helpful, as were the other trainees.

Everyone I have come across in this company have honestly been wonderful, I’m not surprised as I think you have to be a caring and nice person to work in this industry. But the level that Nurseplus are on is outstanding. I felt valued at the training and that I was surrounded by people who wanted me to succeed. This is the first time I would say training for a role has actually been an enjoyable experience. 

When you were given your placement, how were you introduced to your client? 

It took around 2 weeks for the team to find a placement. I had calls every other day from the Live-in Care Co-ordinators with some potential clients, when I heard about Don and the possibility of going there I was quite excited, as well as nervous. I was given Don's care plan when I was told that Don was happy for me to come which had a massive amount of information on including his likes, dislikes and how to get there. I was then contacted by his local branch in Hastings to finalise when I was going to arrive and what to expect.

I arrived on the Tuesday at a set time and had a handover with the carer I was taking over from, they introduced me to Don, showed me to my room and gave me a tour of the house. I then had a cup of tea with Don and got to know him better. Tracey (from the Hastings branch) then came round and again took me through everything.

Can you tell us a little about Don?

My client, Don is in his mid-80s, he has lived in the town he was born in all his life and worked very hard throughout it. Unfortunately, he has stage 4 terminal cancer as well as suffering from a stroke. He is, however, one of the strongest willed and genuine people I’ve ever met. He is reasonably independent; his personal care is limited but I sometimes help out. Everyone that has worked with him has said how lovely he is, but genuinely I would class him as a friend. He is lovely and we have very similar interests such as documentaries and cooking shows, which Don is always happy to watch. He is very hands on and likes to be kept busy, but he’s also always up for a good laugh!

How did you find moving into somebody’s home to help them with their day-to-day life?

I was very nervous at first, it was the prospect of living with someone I’ve never met and looking after them, making sure they were happy and got along with me. It's somebody else’s home, so that can be quite nerve racking, but it’s not as bad as you think at all, I can tell the team really thought about who they were placing me with to make sure it was a good fit. I feel that I can meet every one of Don’s needs and wants through the day as well as making sure he can continue to stay in his home.

What does an average day look like? 

There is no such thing as an average day as a Live-in carer. Every day has its challenges and hurdles to overcome. I normally wake up around 7am to get myself washed, dressed and ready for the day before Don gets up, we then normally have a quick chit chat before I help him get washed and dressed. After that I could be doing so many things like taking Don to clubs, going to group activities, visiting our regular café or walks on the beach. You name it we do it, excluding skydiving and mountain climbing, although I have tried to convince Don to go (only joking!) We will usually have some lunch out or I’ll cook us something. Then once we’re home we could be having people round for dinner like his grandson or family, unless it’s a Sunday in which case Don and I go round to his son's for a Sunday roast together. Normally around 9:30pm its bed time for the both of us. 

Tell us about your time with Don so far:

When I came into this job I knew it was going to be emotional and hard at times but I set myself the goal of making sure I gave the person I was looking after the ability to live life to the maximum that they were capable of. Don and I are regulars at a local cafe where we both go in and have a chat with the staff. He attends quite a few clubs and activities that I arranged for him to get out and chat with people. But taking Don to a pub last Saturday to see some live music with his family, and watching him catch up with people who hadn’t seen him in ages was wonderful. It’s an amazing feeling when a family member of the person you look after can say that since you’ve started working with them that you have given them a new lease of life. That comment is something that I’ll never forget. 

What advice would you give others who are considering becoming a Live-in carer? 

My advice for anyone thinking about a career in care would be to start by asking yourself a question: do you want to help people? If the answer is yes and you think you’re a genuine, caring and considerate person, wanting to feel like you make a difference, maybe Live-in care is just the job for you. This job is the most rewarding and amazing thing I’ve ever done and Nurseplus are genuinely fantastic to work for. I have done many jobs before and have never been looked after like this or felt as valuable.

I would evaluate how comfortable you are with being away from home as you’ll have to work a bit away but remember you’re making positive differences to people’s lives. If you’re on the fence, take the jump - I’m so glad I did.

Are you ready to take a leap of faith and become a Live-in carer like Ethan? Check out our current Live-in carer vacancies here. Our helpful team will be on hand to guide you through a short simple process with ease. 

Posted-on May 19, 2023 By Nurseplus Care at home