Debbie Evans is the longest serving team member at the Edwardian Care Home and has been working for 20 years. We thought we will find out more about her and what she loves most about her job.
Q. Can you tell us more about your role?
A. I am a Senior Nights Care Assistant. I would be the one who would look after the residents and the rest of the team. I would delegate duties to other team members, deal with medication, emergency situations and overall will make sure the shift is run smoothly.
Q. Have you always worked as a Senior Nights Care Assistant?
A. Oh no. I have joined the Heritage Care Group as a Nights Care Assistant in year 2000. Few months later my manager thought that it would be more beneficial for me to join the day team, so I would learn more about the care. Then I have started working as an Acting Senior Care Assistant and was receiving lots of training and support in getting my promotion as a team leader. Then I have moved up to becoming a Deputy Manager. Shortly after I went on maternity leave. He is my only child and I wanted to makes sure I am there for him, so I have made a decisions to step down and become a Senior Care Assistant, so I could manage and have a healthy balance between the childcare and my work.
Q. What do enjoy most about your current role?
A. I enjoy seeing happy residents and taking a good care of them. When residents are feeling down, we are here to support and cheer them up. Talking with their family members and reassuring that their loved ones are looked after well. If I see my residents happy, then I am also happy. No one wants to see their residents feeling down, so a simple smile, listening to them or just holding their hand makes them feel better about themselves.
Q. What is the best thing about the team you are working with?
A. We always support each other. We are honest with each other and if we have any disagreements, which can happen after working for such a long time together, then we talk things through and move on. We always work as a team and look after each other.
Q. What is it about the Heritage Care Homes, that made you want to work here for 20 years?
A. This was my first and only job. We are like one big family and this is what I love about this company. We feel looked after and treated with respect. We are actually encouraged to have a healthy life and work balance, which is rare in care industry.
Q. What did you find most challenging during the pandemic period?
A. Most challenging part was keeping our residents safe. We have to keep ourselves safe whist we are not working in order to protect our residents when we go back to work. This is their home and we are only visitors here, so we don’t want to take any risks. We always try to make sure that we are following the guidelines outside our working hours so we can go back to work knowing residents are safe. Most of our residents have underlying health conditions so we have to make sure they are looked after well.
Q. How did the pandemic affect our residents?
A. Most of our residents were worried of the unknown and wondering when they will be able to see their family and friends. We gave lots of support and reassurance to our residents by making sure they can talk to their loved one on the phone or we would arrange video calls on a regular basis. This way their emotional wellbeing was much better.
Q. In 20 years of working for Edwardian Care Home, what is your most memorable moment?
A. There are so many memories! Some residents have been in our care home for a very long time, so we become a part of their family with this unbreakable bond. When one resident is feeling down, it affects others too. They support and cheer each other up. This is what I love about this home. Each day is never the same. Each resident is different with their own personalities. Therefore you can never apply the same approach to all residents.
Q. Do you think Person Centred Software which have been introduced to the care home helped with providing more efficient and personalised care to the residents?
A. Oh 100 percent! Each care plan is tailored to suit the resident and their individual care needs. You can update the system in a much more efficient way leaving more time for the team to spend with the residents.
Q. And finally, for someone out there who is thinking of becoming a carer, what advice would you give them?
A. It is a very rewarding job. You need to be a sympathetic person. You need to care about others. The person who will listen and understand. There are moments that you will just have to sit and listen to your residents. Or just sit in silence and hold their hand. Giving the reassurance to the residents is also very important. We can teach you the skills of how to do your job well, but we cannot teach you how to care about other people.