Christmas is a time for family, for tradition and celebration. At CarePlanner we have a tradition of our own: the 12 Carers of Christmas is about celebrating home carers for the amazing work they do year round. While health care is about keeping people alive, social care is about keeping people living their best lives. Our 12 carers are uplifting examples of the power and purpose of home care, and show how critical and valuable a service it is for all of our communities.
Our third carer of Christmas is Sara Blewitt, who works with Rosemont Care in Medway. Sara is a skilled carer who epitomises the power of connection that home care can build. A connection not just between carer and service user, but with local communities, other support staff, or even family.
Sara has many examples of this throughout her time as a carer, but one specific example involving a married couple stands out. The couple both have dementia along with a considerable list of specific needs for each of them respectively. Sara has been involved in providing care for this couple since they started to receive care from Rosemont. This has seen her liaise with the couple’s family, work with her colleagues to ensure their complex needs are met, and go above and beyond when called upon.
When nominating Sara, her colleague Laura Merryweather recounted the lengths to which Sara had gone:
“Recently [the husband] had a seizure when the carer arrived and we had to call an ambulance,” says Laura. “He was taken in, which meant [the wife] was left alone. This caused her to become very agitated and distressed as she was concerned about her husband. She could not remember where she was and became quite upset. With the quick response we arranged for Sara to go in and provide a bedtime call.
“[Despite] this actually being her day off, she agreed, due to her knowledge and understanding of these clients. When she got there [the wife] was really distressed and she felt she could not be left alone. She stayed with [the wife] the whole night with no hesitation. They sat and watched a film and went through some old photos to take her mind off of the situation. She eventually went to sleep around 6am.”
In that moment, for this particular service user, the world was becoming a dark place. The few certainties she still understood were slipping away and the experience of being so disconnected from her world was terrifying. Sara stepped into this uncertain world with the clarity of an old friend, reassuring the service user by drawing on both her professional skills and her personal character.
A fundamental part of care is building connections. Connections make us human, they remind us of who we are and what we care for, and help us know where our place in the world is. If those connections start to fail, we can only hope that someone like Sara will be there to help us find our way.