Shining a light on those who brighten up the lives of those who need it most
Published: Thursday, 22 September 2022
One of South Lanarkshire’s most iconic buildings is being illuminated to commemorate the way home carers light up people’s lives
Hamilton Town House will be bathed in yellow light to recognise the vital and ongoing contribution home carers make to people’s lives.
Buildings across the country are being lit up to mark national Home Care Day on 22 September as gratitude is shown to these vital frontline staff.
Soumen Sengupta, Director of Health and Social Care for South Lanarkshire, said: “We are proud to participate in this national day of awareness by lighting up this local landmark.
“Every single day, home care staff work ceaselessly to improve the lives of the individuals they care for.
“They, in common with all our social care and health care teams, continue to deliver for all of us.
“On behalf of everyone in South Lanarkshire, I’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks for our home carers’ dedication, compassion and professionalism.”
South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) Scott McNeill, who is the Service Manager for Registered Care at Home Services, said the illumination was fitting.
He said: “The term ‘pillars of our community’ springs to mind, as our home carers are a solid, unfailing support for so many people.
“To light up one of the area’s most prominent buildings, especially as the nights draw in, seems an appropriate way of recognising they way they brighten up so many lives.”
The Care at Home service provides essential support to enable people to live as independently as possible in their own homes, offering support that includes washing, dressing, preparing food or getting ready for bed. All staff are also trained to give more personal assistance such as help with medication.
The level of service was witnessed first-hand by Soumen when he recently accompanied home carers on their visits as part of their daily rounds.
He said: “We all know that home carers do a tremendous job, but until you see it for yourself, you don’t realise just how amazing it actually is.
“It is a job that is rewarding, but it is also so incredibly important to the people they are visiting. They are making such a positive difference to people’s lives, right in the heart of their own homes.
“I saw people in need of help, getting that help. I saw assistance given that meant that these people could carry on living in the house where they had spent many years making their home, the place where their hearts lie. And I saw the way people’s eyes lit up, the way they visibly brightened, when the home carers arrived. Every person within the service, whatever their role, makes a massive contribution to that impacts positively on the lives of others.
“It is not an easy job by any means – rewarding jobs never are – but it is one that our Care at Home staff make seem easy because it shines from them that they enjoy it, and what a difference that makes to people.”
One of those accompanied by Soumen was Carol Stewart, who has worked as a Home Carer for 16 years and who agreed that the personal side of the job was what brings such value to it.
She said: “The physical aspects, actually doing things for people that they can’t manage for themselves is not only vital, but it’s really rewarding as well. But you learn as soon as you start doing the job that there has to be a personal side, too.
“You build up good relationships with the service-users, and there is a tremendous amount of trust shared between you.
“You get to know their personal preferences, not just their needs, and that is vital to being a real benefit to their lives.
“I always think that we should treat everyone we visit like we would want people to treat our own mums and dads or grans and grandads, and when you get that wee smile, that’s all you need to know you’re doing a good thing.
“There’s nothing quite like that feeling, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
South Lanarkshire HSCP has its own workforce of 1000 Care at Home staff who, along with another 1000-plus Care at Home staff from independent providers, collectively deliver services every day of the year, with at least 60,000 visits each week to support more than 3500 service users.
However, there is room for more and anyone interested in moving into Care at Home as a career has the opportunity to do so with demand for the service increasing significantly.
South Lanarkshire HSCP is currently recruiting new home carers, meaning that a number of flexible opportunities exist for people wishing to work in this challenging and rewarding environment.
People of all ages, male and female, and of all levels of experience are welcome to apply and can do so, and find more information on the posts online at www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/south-lanarkshire/jobs/sla08839-home-carer-257966.