Ellie Pflanz, 23, and Phillippa Stephenson, 34, both live in Bournemouth. They both changed careers to become carers with Good Oaks Home Care during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown approaches on March 23rd, they talk about how the last year has changed their lives.
Phillippa changed career after she found business with her self-employed dog walking company came to a halt in the first lockdown. Phillippa had always been used to care work, having helped look after her sister who has special needs from a young age.
She said she was a little nervous to start because she knew she had to keep everyone safe, but that the training she received at Good Oaks and shadowing shifts made her feel reassured. She said: “I didn’t go into it thinking it would be easy, I though what will my clients think of me, will they be worried about me coming into their home and looking after them? But as soon as I started, I found it easy, it was almost as if I was born for care, it came so naturally.”
Good Oaks Home Care has its own COVID-19 secure procedures that go above and beyond the industry standard recommendations and all staff get training and PPE.
Phillippa said that working in care had ‘changed her life,’ she said: “It’s knowing you have made someone feel safe and protected and that you care. It’s definitely made me a better person – it’s given me so much, I absolutely love it, it makes me feel very proud to help people.”
Phillippa said that she really enjoyed the training at Good Oaks Home Care and had done several courses. She said: “There are so many courses available for you to do and it makes you feel so confident – things like medication and prescriptions, dementia care, health and safety, hygiene, first aid. The training is really informative- and there’s the ability to progress at Good Oaks. You can work through for your qualifications. It’s been a complete career change for me, I can’t see myself doing anything else. Working in care changes your life and your perceptions and changes the lives of the people you are caring for.”
Ellie was working as a hairdresser in 2020 and was furloughed during the first lockdown. She said: “I could have stayed on furlough, but I kept thinking about all the people that needed care and how I could help someone. I had previously worked in a residential home and I absolutely loved it, so I thought why not go for it!”
Ellies said she found the job really rewarding and really enjoyed the companionship side, where she would do puzzles or Sudoku with clients or look through old photos with them and talk about their lives. She said: “The most rewarding part for me is knowing you have made a big difference to someone’s day and put a smile on their face.”
She said that if others were considering a career in care to go for it. Ellie said: “Definitely do it. I think unfortunately some people are put off of care work due to certain aspects of the job, but it’s the most rewarding and positive job I’ve ever had.”
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