Menu

My journey to becoming a care-home manager

This is a personal story, my journey to becoming a care-home manager.

My lovely mother passed away 10 years ago, after a seven-year illness that caused a slow decline in her wellbeing. During this time, my father, I and my teenage daughters took the decision as a family to look after her at home. My father, who was her main carer, took early retirement to do this. I at the time was working full time as a nurse for the NHS. My daughters were still at school.

When she passed away we were of course very sad. Knowing that she was entering into the end of life stage didn’t cushion the impact of her death. We were lucky insomuch as she passed away very peacefully at home with my father and me with her. That day we didn’t know it was going to be her last: we knew she had a chest infection, but we had planned on going to Newbury races and she was adamant that she wanted to go. She loved looking at the horses before they raced and choosing which one she thought would win. After a couple of hours she told us she had had enough and wanted to go home, so we did. I had prepared Thai prawn soup and opened a bottle of Sancerre. Mummy ate very little and had a sip or two of wine. She was sleepy and we let her rest. before long it became apparent to us that she was dying. We called the out-of-hours doctor just to say they should expect a call from us fairly soon to notify them that she has passed away. We did not want her to go into hospital.

So – you may well be wondering what my story has to do with becoming a care-home manager.

After the funeral, and  several rum and cokes, I found myself reflecting. For the first time, I realised the enormity of the situation we had been dealing with, how much time, effort and planning it had taken to ensure her life had remained good despite her illness and increasing frailty. It was also important to us that she was able to live her life according to her own wishes. On occasions, for instance, we had to advocate when specialist nurses wanted to insert a feeding tube, despite her saying she didn’t want it.

I sat there and a thought came into my head. I couldn’t shake it off. What about those families who for whatever reason weren’t able to do what we did? Those families who cannot stop working, those families who are scattered across the country, or even the world? It was at that moment I knew I needed to so something to help. But what? I wanted to help the families, to support them when making the hard decision that their loved one needed to go into a care home.

So that’s what it did. I left the NHS and became a care-home manager. I learned all the aspects of the role and have worked for some big names in healthcare. I am now so privileged to work for The Brendoncare Foundation at Froxfield. I have found what I have been searching for. I do not need to compromise my core values as they are in alignment with Brendoncare’s. I have the time to make a difference to the families from the first contact they have with the home, through organising the transition from home to care home for the residents. As importantly, I am able to keep in communication with the families and able to shape and share my vision of how the care home can evolve.

This vision is, of course, ever-changing. As one thing is accomplished ones attention is immediately taken up with the next. My current plan, for instance is to offer day care, where the family can drop off their loved one for the day so they can continue to work. And, once that’s in place, there’ll be something else…

Thank you for taking the time to read this personal story.

Karen James Care Home Manager for Brendoncare Froxfield.

For more information about job opportunities at Brendoncare Froxfield, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coverage Area

What's On

Feb
18
Mon
2019
10:00 am Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – Feb 23 @ 4:00 pm
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield Library @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD sale  Monday 18 – Saturday 23 February at Burghfield Library, nothing more than £1. For more information, please contact the library. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/ http://info.westberks.gov.uk/35189
Feb
20
Wed
2019
7:00 pm Music Quiz @ The Castle Pub & Restaurant
Music Quiz @ The Castle Pub & Restaurant
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Music Quiz @ The Castle Pub & Restaurant | Donnington | England | United Kingdom
Spanning the decades and covering every genre, with trivia as well as lots of music clips, The Castle Music Quiz is a fantastic night out in support of a great local charity. • Quiz starts[...]
7:15 pm The Sound of Music @ John O'Gaunt School
The Sound of Music @ John O'Gaunt School
Feb 20 @ 7:15 pm – 10:00 pm
The Sound of Music @ John O'Gaunt School | England | United Kingdom
The 2019 Hungerford Town Show is The Sound of Music! This classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical tells the story of Maria, a tomboyish postulant as she becomes a governess for seven children. Under her influence[...]
Feb
21
Thu
2019
9:30 am Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library
Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library
Feb 21 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library | England | United Kingdom
Computer Lessons for beginners Every Thursday morning at Thatcham Library. To book a session, please contact the library: 01635 866049 http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30286 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/
9:30 am Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Feb 21 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club | England | United Kingdom
The cost per person includes handouts, a certificate of attendance and nut-free refreshments. The courses are taught by Louise Worsley, a qualified, enthusiastic trainer who is an ex-secondary school teacher, a primary school mum and[...]
10:00 am Brass Rubbing Workshop for Famil... @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage
Brass Rubbing Workshop for Famil... @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Brass Rubbing Workshop for Families, Wantage @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage | England | United Kingdom
Free drop-in brass rubbing session for families. No need to book but children must be accompanied by an adult. Donations to the Museum are welcomed.
10:00 am Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newb... @ Newbury Library
Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newb... @ Newbury Library
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newbury Library @ Newbury Library | England | United Kingdom
Fraud Scene Investigators for 8 to 12 years Try something different this half term! Examine the clues and evidence to help solve a fraud. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Please contact[...]
10:00 am Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for Halfterm @ Swindon MECA | England | United Kingdom
Monday 18th – Friday 22nd February 2019 10am – 4pm (Daily) UNLIMITED PLAY Bouncy Castles (up to 10yrs) Inflatable Obstacle Course (up to 10yrs) Toddler Soft Play (0-4yrs) 0-6 Months – Free Under 4’s –[...]
10:00 am Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne... @ Pangbourne Library
Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne... @ Pangbourne Library
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne Library @ Pangbourne Library | Pangbourne | England | United Kingdom
Rhymetime/Storytime for 0 to 5 years Alternating on Thursday in term time – 10.00-10.30am at Pangbourne Library. For more information, please contact the library. http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30285 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/
10:30 am Wendy Carrig Exhibition – Common... @ Greenham Common Tower
Wendy Carrig Exhibition – Common... @ Greenham Common Tower
Feb 21 @ 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wendy Carrig Exhibition - Common People @ Greenham Common Tower | England | United Kingdom
An exhibition of photographs recording life at the Greenham Common Peace Camp during the 1980s Exhibition: 9th December 2018 – 9th March 2019 Wendy Carrig was a photography student in the mid-1980s during a time[...]