‘I’m much more confident now’: How working for Lifeways changed this Support Worker’s outlook on life
Support Worker Michaela Bartholomew believes that her role at Lifeways has improved her life on a personal level.
For some, being a support worker can mean going on days out, cooking, arts and crafts, and listening to music. What people can forget is personal care. Often, 'personal care' is a new concept to our fresh-faced colleagues, and this was the case for Michaela.
"When I first started working for Lifeways, the concept of personal care was not what I expected. Those we support have a variety of complex needs and a range of abilities that may require full one-to-one care. This support often involves basic domestic activities, such as showering. This may sound simple enough, but as this is so personal it does take getting used to. However, you will be surprised how quickly you can adapt and see this as a normal part of the job.
Now, I also understand many health conditions such as epilepsy, and the medication required to treat these ailments. I am now trained on the medical conditions of all the people we support, meaning I can cover for other colleagues in my area.
On a more personal level, Lifeways has also taught me other valuable life skills. Taking more responsibility for myself has been something that I have taken home. As I am essentially responsible for someone else's happiness and care, I can take on more when I am outside of the office. I am also much more confident now, as I am so close and personal with many people, I have improved my relationship and communication skills in my home life. Just knowing that I have gained this experience has changed me as a person.
One of the tough parts of the job is learning how precious life can be. I always had a fear of losing someone and as my role does involve working with people who have potentially life-threatening challenges, this becomes a real possibility. Even now, this still stays with me, as I spend so much time with those in our care. As a support worker, you are based in someone's house. You live alongside them. Being so close provides structure and stability for each other. They are part of our lives and we are part of theirs. You begin to appreciate each other and understand the value of the work you are doing. So now, if I had to choose one word to describe how I now feel, it would be 'fortunate'."
To see how you can join the Lifeways team, head over to our careers page.