A day in the life of a support worker – Harriet’s storyOn November 11, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
[music] I’m Harriet Malloy and my role is a support worker in a home in Gloucestershire. A typical day in the home I work at… Come in, make sure that everyone’s had a drink. We get them up, bathed, make sure that they’re wearing exactly what they would like to wear.
Like our ladies like to wear jewellery, so we make sure that they’ve picked out their
jewellery, and we do their hair. We have a couple of staff here that are very good with nifty with the hair-dos, so we make
sure they look all beautiful. And the gentlemen, make sure that they have their aftershave on cos they enjoy really getting ready and making sure that they look their best. Um and then once everyone’s had their breakfast,
we decide to do what we’re going to do in that morning make sure that whoever’s key-working day it is that they get to go out and decide whatever they would like to go to do on that day. Some like to go sailing, so they go sailing,
one of our residents, another one likes to go for a cup of coffee.
They decide where they feel that they want to go so, if one of them wants to go shopping in a different town then we’ll go shopping in a different town. Just the other day, one resident wanted to
go to Weston, so we went to Weston-super-Mare, because they had the hours and they wanted to go. We took them to Weston and they had their fish and chips and they were happy with that… [laughs] Um, obviously with some people that don’t get to go out, we try and do some either art activities with them, or we put on their favourite movies,
or we do some sensory stuff with them, and then after the day’s ended and it comes to around 4 or 5, we make sure that they all have an extra change, ’cause some need to be changed, and then we go and start prepping the dinners, making sure the dinners are all done, and then we make sure that everyone’s ready and at the table for dinner. We get them ready for bedtime, around bedtime. There’s some people that we support that need support with um, eating and drinking. We would make sure that their food was prepped because some have to be blended,
and some need to be chopped up properly, because some need it completely smooth and some just need it lumpy. In the mornings um, there’s a couple of residents we support that need hoists to be lifted out of the bed into their, either wet chairs, or their wheelchairs because we support them to change them and put them in the bath, and clean them because they can’t do it themselves,
to wash their hair, to even shaving, trimming their nails, and make sure that you know, everything is how, if you wanted someone to look after you, you’d want the same treatment. We’re all fully trained in hoisting, and health and safety with the hoists and the
machinery, and moving and handling.
We’re fully trained in every aspect of the working day, and particularly, with some of the people we support, they do have health needs so we’re fully trained in epilepsy, dementia, diabetes, ’cause we don’t know, whoever comes in and everyone’s health changes at times so, you need to be ready.
And then you’re teaching them how to live, not a certain way but being able to do these little things that to us is an everyday thing that we just
do off-the-cuff, to them it’s a brand new skill they can use,
knowing they can make their own cup of tea. A few of our residents um, we have here,
we communicate in different ways with every single one of them. This one resident we support, that we write everything down for him and we ask him questions for the day. Sometimes if we don’t use the book,
then we use hand gestures to symbol what we’re trying to say to him, because he’s very hard of hearing. Another resident, we speak very gently to
because they could jump, and it can make him very upset. Um, and our others, residents, um, that don’t speak, that communication, it can be very hard sometimes trying to work out what they want or what they need at the time, but you kind of guess from their noises they make, or just the look in their face, if they’re angry or sad, but you have to figure that out as you go… [laughs] The reward I get from working here is seeing them happy, seeing them coming out with ideas of what they would like to do, not just keeping up with the house cleaning and all the other little things you’ve got
to do every day, but to see them happy in their homes,
knowing that their homes, where they live, is nice and safe, and they’re completely cared for.