Olga Mcrae, who has been nominated for the Great British Care Awards, is a good example, says her manager Danielle Daines.
“Olga looks after every one of her clients as if they are a relative,” says Danielle.
Olga says: “I enjoy communicating with my clients. I smile and they smile back, and I give them time to talk. It's important to be a good listener - like a friend. I want to improve and maintain their mood and health, so I try to be a ray of sunshine for them.”
Olga has been a home carer with Avant Healthcare in Hounslow for five years. Danielle says: “We train all our carers to be compassionate and uphold the dignity of clients, but Olga goes the extra mile.”
Supporting Patricia, who had dementia, by buying her a concessionary travel pass from her own money so that Patricia could get out of the house, and taking her for coffee and a chat at a local cafe. Olga sometimes took Patricia to a local river to feed the fish, and when Patricia was admitted to hospital Olga continued to feed her cat unpaid.
Encouraging James, 97, to do his exercises and to read a book to keep his mind active, and asking his daughter to bring him more books once one is finished.
Doing colouring, crosswords and card games with Catherine, who has dementia.
Olga says: “I love my job. I wish I'd thought about becoming a carer earlier.”
Danielle, 24, says: “Many people of my age think care is a dreary job but every day is different, it's very rewarding and there are a lot of laughs. It suits people of all ages - Olga is over 60 but our care team also includes under-25s.”
Avant Healthcare founder Sally Graham says: “We demonstrate how much we value our staff by offering a wide range of benefits, such as flexible working, training (including management training), funding for Diplomas in Health and Social Care, study leave, childcare vouchers, and more.”