I have only had this job for a few months, at the time of publishing, and it’s my first job working in the Care Industry. To say it has been eye-opening, would be an understatement.
As in any job my first 2 weeks were mostly spent doing online training and getting organised. Sprinkled within the time spent tidying and training were actual maintenance tasks, fire alarm tests & checking water temperature.
I anticipated the not-really-maintenance-jobs (The torch isn’t broken, it’s just out of charge…), the piles on piles of paperwork and getting to know the RA team, but one thing I wasn’t expecting to do was socialise so much with the residents.
Within 2 days I had gotten to know a resident well enough that I could tell you their hometown, childhood sweetheart, and why exactly they aren’t on great terms with their family. I then found myself answering plenty of questions from all the residents in the home, this way they could get to know everything about me. As I got to know them better their curiosity grew and anytime I was doing a task, they always asked what I was doing.
Some of our residents have an excellent, quick and sometimes bordering on a rude sense of humour and that was a shock at first, but now the laughter gets us all through the day. All this just from being immersed in the home, not going out of my way to introduce myself or reading their care plans, but just by treating them as people and getting to know them as people, not “residents”.
Obviously, there is a degree of separation needed between my home life and work, data protection and all that. However, what I am certain of, and have made clear to everyone outside of work, getting stuck in with activities and having a coffee and a chat with the residents has done nothing but enrich my job, even if it does put me behind on paperwork.
Now knowing all I do about the residents and the job, I can without a doubt say that my favourite part of my day is the people. It’s why I ask some of our residents if they want to help with putting up picture frames and painting, it’s why I have my lunch in the dining room with the Residents and it’s why I make sure that whatever work I do, I make sure that the residents are aware and comfortable with me doing it. If I weren’t doing this, I would fit in like a square peg in a round hole, and they would almost definitely have shouted at me when I turned off the TV to paint the lounge wall!
So, the answer is, it only takes one maintenance man to change a lightbulb, as long as he’s willing to have a chat while he does it.