By Zoe Sparkes
After drinking my morning energy-boosting smoothie, I sit down at my desk to check emails that have come in overnight. A lot of things can happen in a short space of time when I’m not in the office, so I need to make sure I am aware of anything that has taken place in my absence. Fortunately, my team are very good at communicating with each other and ensuring messages are passed to one another effectively.
I attend daily meetings with the managers and director of service, and we speak about new packages coming on and what live in carers we have available. We are also very conscious to ensure that we have suitable carers placed with clients, where they are matched on personality, values, interests and hobbies. As well as ensuring practical care needs are met, we also want the client and carer to have a real bond. This is so important for a successful care package, especially when the carer will be living in the client’s home and they will be spending a great deal of time in each other’s company.
Not only do I work on covering live-in packages, but I am also the carer’s first point of call and their stepping stone to the office. I have fortnightly catch-ups over the phone with all of our live-in carers where I address any issues/concerns (or more frequently, positive experiences) they have had during their time supporting the client in their home. I feel an immense sense of satisfaction when I receive lovely feedback about the relationships that are formed between a live-in carer and their client, and as is quite often the case, close friendships are formed through successful matching.
When I am not matching clients and carers or supporting our live-in carers, I usually can be found catching up with existing client packages to ensure Support Workers receive their well earned breaks and that the cover for those breaks are matched up with another suitable SweetTree Support Worker. Additionally, I carefully monitor a database that details all the live-in carers and their availability which lets me clearly and quickly see who is working, how long their shift is, and with whom they are supporting.
Before I finish for the day, I meet with the care coordinators and we discuss how we can move forward with packages and sort any last-minute urgent requests. I also do a handover with the on-call coordinator and brief them, so they have all the information they need if anything happens between me finishing for the day and coming back the next morning.
Throughout the pandemic, many of our live-in clients are in isolation and so their carer would also be isolating with them and unable to leave the house for shopping or collection of medications. Fortunately, SweetTree has hired a number of cars and allocated several drivers to collect these necessary items, which can then be delivered safely to the client’s doorstep. The drivers that have been employed during this time are also helping tremendously with distributing PPE throughout the community, meaning that our carers are never without this vital protective equipment.
It is an extremely busy time right now in my role here at SweetTree, but I go to sleep at night feeling incredibly proud of how the SweetTree team are pulling together to ensure we achieve our goal of giving our clients independence and happiness; from senior management to the carers out in the community and our clients’ homes, every single person is dedicated and committed to this rewarding goal!