Megan has been employed by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership's Home Care service for seven years. Over this time she has worked in many different roles, but is now primarily based at the service's Support Office (Blair Court) as a Registration Support Worker where she has responsibility for monitoring and supporting home care staff, to ensure they are registered and compliant with their registration responsibilities with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). In 2021, she started an additional secondary post as an 'Out of Hours Coordinator' covering the North-West of the City.
Describing her role in the out of hours team, Megan says "I have caring responsibilities outside of work, as I help look after my gran. The shift pattern is clearly defined which allows me to plan her care around it, I couldn't work a job where shifts changed week to week. I work seven days on and seven days off, doing the evening shift and at the weekend. The hours fit around my other job too so it's manageable to do both".
"It's hard work but I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. The nature of the job is fast paced but I enjoy managing staff and hopefully that will set me in good stead for career progression in the future. I get a lot of job satisfaction from knowing that we are actively supporting people to live independently in their own homes. My own experience with my gran has shown me just how important it is for our service users to be treated with respect and dignity and just how valuable the service is to not only our service users but also to their families".
"Working evening shifts can bring its own challenges, just because you're working until 10pm doesn't mean everyone else is. Often you would like to contact third sector organisations to get additional support or advice for a service user. However, because most places are only open office hours it can be frustrating that you're unable to help them there and then. We have a great out of hours team though and can always call on a colleague for advice."
"I work with a brilliant bunch of carers and coordinators; everyone is so supportive. The managers are very approachable too. I've had the chance to get involved with all sorts of projects including organising a tea party for our 100-year-old service users! I've also had the opportunity to shadow an Area Operations Manager; anything I've shown an interest in I've been I've been able to get involved with. It's a great service to be a part of, there are opportunities on your doorstep if you want them."
"If you are looking for a job that is flexible and rewarding, I would highly recommend a career in home care"
David started working in Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership's care services six months ago, he is a First Responder within the Community Alarms Team. Covering the whole of Glasgow, David's role involves maintenance of community alarms and sensor equipment including fall detectors, smoke monitors and motion sensors. These devices are all linked to an Alarms Receiving Centre in Glasgow. David is part of the team that responds to alarm activation from service users by making house calls to assist them.
David says "I became a carer after I watched the service support my own mum; I thought I had it in me as I am a compassionate and caring person. After a 25-year career in retail it is a big change, but it's a good one, I definitely get a lot more job satisfaction now. When you go to a service user's home and see their face light up when you arrive, you understand that you're their lifeline and how important your role is."
"I enjoy being out and working in the community too, the work we do keeps our service users living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. The service is vital for them and gives their families peace of mind too."
"Working for the council you know you're well looked after; there is job security as well as benefits like the pension scheme and the opportunity to work overtime. I work seven days on and seven days off, my shift pattern is 8.15am-3pm. I like the flexibility of it; it means I have time to dedicate to my other hobbies and interests on my week off."
"My manager and team are so supportive; the job can be challenging at times but there's a real sense of camaraderie that keeps you going. It helps that we all enjoy the work we do and are motivated by knowing we are making a difference to the quality of people's lives."
"It is the most rewarding job I've ever had, I'm proud to put my uniform on and be part of the home care team. I'd encourage anyone to consider a career in home care, I wish I'd done it sooner."
Allison McKay has worked as a home carer for 31 years, covering Cardonald and Hillington in the Southside.
Allison's shift pattern is 7 days on 7 days off, working out of hours from 4pm to 9.30pm Monday to Friday and a Saturday and Sunday morning. Allison says "This works well for me as I'm always around during the day to get things done in the house and to help out with family commitments. I enjoy working 14 days every month and there is always the option of overtime if I'm looking to pick up any extra shifts."
"The job itself is similar to a community nursing role we do everything from administering medication to delivering personal care. Ultimately, we are responsible for maintaining their quality of life and it's not just elderly service users either, we have younger service users with additional needs and terminal illnesses that we care for too."
"I think one of the aspects of the job I find the hardest is working on foot, I struggle more so in the winter because of the dark nights and inclement weather. However I am currently working in a pair as all my service users require support from more than one home carer, so having someone else beside me makes me feel safer and keeps my spirits up."
"It is such an important job, and this has been highlighted during the pandemic when at times we have been the only person our service users have seen for months due to restrictions. We are their lifeline and support. I have a bond with all my service users and feel privileged to have cared for so many different characters over the years. I love hearing their stories and helping to put a smile on their face."
Diane Quigg began her career as a home carer in 2007, and currently works in Shawlands in the Southside.
Diane's shift pattern is 7 days on 7 days off from 8am to 1.30pm and 4pm to 10 pm. Diane says "The start of my working week can feel quite intense after being off the previous week. I am always exhausted the first day back, it takes a lot out of you. However, after a couple of days I'm back into a routine and it gets easier. I like the fact as well that if I take a week's annual leave, I'm actually off for three weeks so get a good break."
"The job has been really challenging the past couple of years due to the pandemic which has caused staff shortages. We've all felt the repercussions of having to pick up more work and help each other out, you just get on with it though.
"It's such an important job and you feel a sense of duty towards your service users, we are the people who help keep them out of hospitals and care homes. If I'm ever in the position myself, I wouldn't hesitate to use the service it's invaluable to a lot of families.
"The best thing about the job is the relationships you develop not just with your service users but also with their relatives, you feel like part of their family. You develop an intuition with your service users and can tell if something seems 'off' with them, there's been times I've been able to tell they've had a urine infection or that their balance hasn't been right, so you can't underestimate just how strong a connection you develop with them.