A situation arose relating to a Live – in carer, (to be known in this reflective account as carer A) who was due to go into a placement and relieve an existing member of staff ( to be known in this reflective account as carer B) as part of a two-week job share. Carer A had problems with regard to her residency and as a matter of urgency had to adjust the dates of the changeover. When first the call was made by carer A, she was so upset that I did not know if she was going back at all.
My personal knowledge of the circumstances of the client was extensive, learned time and lots of communicating with the clients’ wife and the client himself and the achievement of home visits. I was wholeheartedly aware of how a change at such short notice would affect the clients’ wife who lives in the home, along with the client and who oversees the care provision of her husband who has advanced dementia and cannot communicate his needs at all. My immediate thoughts were not to alarm the clients’ wife unnecessarily but to establish the facts involved in situation and solve the issue with the best possible outcome for all parties in mind.
In planning my steps to ensure an effective outcome, my first thoughts were to secure the existing care arrangements, which involved contacting carer B. This meant a discreet phone call to her to ask if and how long she would be able to stay to cover for carer A. I was aware that I possibly only had a window of opportunity of one week because carer B was to be placed into another live – in, with another client. I also knew that carer B had a hospital appointment to attend within the timeframe which meant that the clients’ wife would possibly require extra support for this time.
Carer B agreed to stay but did need off duty for a whole day because of the distance to and from the hospital. Once the cover had been successfully secured, my next step was to find out how long this extra cover would be required for. This involved contacting carer A. It may have seemed better if I had started my enquiries the other way around but my thoughts were that if carer B had made other private plans for the week then I would have been looking for a replacement with a carer C and so I stored the information in my head.
In communicating with carer A, my thoughts were to ensure that I was offering practical professional support to assist where possible with her issues and also offer a sympathetic ear to support her emotional state at the time. I had to be realistic about what I needed to achieve to ensure a positive outcome for all parties and I could only achieve a positive outcome by planning the next steps. Carer A came to the office to discuss the situation with me and together we worked out a practical plan of action.
This involved a longer- term approach and would be running in the background after carer A returned to her placement and would not involve the client further at this stage. A call was then made to the clients’ wife to inform her of the situation and the steps I had already taken to ensure that our obligation as a care provider would be met. In communicating with the clients’ wife I was to be mindful as to the conversation held, my considerations toward all parties was to be factual, honest, practical and professional.
The new changeover date was established, consideration was given to how best carer B could achieve her visit to the hospital and all parties agreed an arrangement as to how best both would be achieved. My involvement continued as I escorted both carer A and carer B too and from their respective placements by using my personal transport, as neither carer is a driver and access to the clients home is more challenging than most as they live away from the use of public transport. My support will continue as I will be offering practical help to carer A in ensuring a positive outcome for her.
I will maintain contact with the clients’ wife by phone fortnightly In the timeframe allocated to this example of how I plan, prioritise and balance my time, I still work within the office supporting the office staff to deal with other issues that occur within any working day. I ensured that the office would be covered adequately when I was to be out of the office, I ensured that I could be contacted in the case of an emergency, should the staff need my support when out and about. I made sure that an affirmative plan of action was in place for any eventuality that could occur in this situation.