In the half term holidays, I carried out some work experience in a care home in my local area. It was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience, so I thought that I would like to share it with you.
On Monday, I was greeted warmly by the senior care officer who was looking after the ground floor of the care home. Immediately, I felt the clinical setting of this home, of all the necessary precautions required to ensure that patients maintain their welfare. I sat on a table across from a resident, whose hand was swollen. She was struggling to eat; I thought that we were just going to wait for her to feed herself. But instead, the carer started feeding her. I was somewhat astounded about this; I didn’t believe that patients needed to be spoon-fed until this time. All the residents used bibs, to catch all the food that they dropped when eating. The nursing home that I went to specialised in dementia, meaning that most of the patients there suffered from this disorder; this meant that some had forgotten how to talk, eat and walk. The nursing home was a decent size, looking after 28 residents. After I had witnessed this, I began talking to some of the residents. Most of them were shy, since they rarely had visitors. The few that I spoke to were hard to understand since they used slurred speech and had a problematic hearing. I then met the events coordinator, who went around to each of the residents, to get them to try out different things; this is because most of them are normally bored, and simply end up sleeping the whole day. I feel that she had a very important job since most of the residents don’t get many visitors; I realised that any company the residents had was good for them and it seemed therapeutic for them to have someone to talk to. I then helped to serve the lunch to the residents in the downstairs lounge; I was still a little unsure of my skills to feed someone, so it wasn’t until Tuesday that I began feeding residents. One imagines that going into a care home, that one will find fragile, quiet, and weak people, but instead some were loud, others cursing each other, and some getting violent. It showed to me the true nature of care homes, and the NHS, of all the paperwork and care that is needed for people.
Come here in a fortnight to find out what I did on the second day of my placement.