This week is National Storytelling Week, a week dedicated to celebrating storytelling and the power they have to connect, entertain and inspire. National Storytelling Week began to highlight the importance, both educationally and culturally, of telling stories.
To celebrate, we will be sharing stories we’ve found surrounding the life of a carer.From extracts of the diary of a care worker, to a carers manual. We will also share stories from our very own carers. They share their journeys surrounding their career progression within the care industry, volunteering as a care assistant, and how one of them made the decision to make a big career change and transition into working in care.
There are a wide range of books surrounding being a carer, each offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and emotional impact the role of caregiving can have. From memoirs sharing personal journeys, to practical guides on caregiving, we hope this list will have something for everyone.
A Gift for Carers by William Long. Published in March 2015, William wrote this book following his personal struggle with the psychological and physical pressures of caring for his mother alongside his family. William’s research and experiences led him to develop a solution to counter the effects of ‘caregiver syndrome’.
BMA Carers Manual by British Medical Association Endorsed by the British Medical Association, this book is described as a practical and visual guide for home carers. The Carers Manual is a guide to caring for the elderly or sick, offering advice and solutions for everyday tasks as a carer, such as safe moving and handling, adapting living space and sharing information surrounding common conditions.
Confidence to Care: A Resource for Family Caregivers Providing Alzheimer’s Disease Or Other Dementias Care at Home – Molly Carpenter This book is a resource for those caring for a service user, friend or family member with symptoms associated with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Confidence to Care offers insights to understanding, managing and preventing behavioural symptoms, as well as sharing personal stories with tips and techniques by international experts. This book is described as a cutting-edge resource to help caregivers confidently deal with the most common issues associated with both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re interested in finding out more about support people with alzheimer’s, we have a blog available here.
Mindfulness for Carers: How to Manage the Demands of Caregiving While Finding a Place for Yourself – Dr Cheryl Rezek Dr Cheryl Rezek wrote this book to support carers through their vulnerability to feeling stressed, worried and fatigued by the physical, psychological and emotional demands that can often come with caregiving. Cheryl introduces the reader to how mindfulness can be enormously beneficial to caregivers, and shares simple mindfulness practices that are short enough to fit into a carer's busy day. Mindfulness for Carers shares information about how carers can care for themselves, their thoughts, feelings and emotions whilst caring for others.
A Carer’s Chaos – Julie Nancy Wiltshire Julie Wiltshire shares the story of her journey with her husband David, who was diagnosed with cancer twice and faced a series of treatments made more difficult by multiple complications. Julie shares a unique perspective into the life as a carer of a loved one, whilst exploring the wide range of emotions experienced, but also trying to maintain individuality.
Trust Me, I'm a Care Worker: Extracts From the Diary of a Care Worker - Chris Bulteel In this book, Chris Bulteel shares the story of his career changes from the catering industry and local government, to a community care assistant. Chris shares his collection of diary entries, shared to highlight and celebrate the work carers do. He aims to inspire others to join the care industry, through his funny stories, friendships he formed and his career progression.
Many of our own carers have shared their stories with us.
Discover how they came to enjoy the many rewards of working in care in the stories below:
Gareth’s Story: Gareth shares his decision to make a career change into care during lockdown. He shares “I am so glad I made the change, it’s a career I can get paid for and I can give back”.
Heidi’s Career in Care: Heidi’s journey within the care industry began when she was 16 years old, and volunteered to work at a hospital. She gained so much experience and learnt so much, that she decided to volunteer again for the following two years. In Heidi’s story, she shares how she “was given the opportunity to see if this could be something I could possibly look into for a career”.
Michelle’s Story: Michelle has been working in care from the age of 18. She shares how she knew from a young age that this is something she wanted to do, after seeing how much her Nan loved her own career in care.
Lucy's Story: Lucy tells her story of her career progression within care, and how knowing she wanted to work within the industry from an early age has led to a 16 year long career. Lucy shares her journey, from growing up within a children's care home, to care assistant, to branch manager.
Eunice’s Story: Eunice wasn’t sure whether she wanted a career in care, but decided to give it a try. 6 years later, Eunice shares why she has loved every minute of it.
Stevie's Story: Stevie shares why he made the decision to change careers, from working as a chef to becoming a care assistant. He shares why he made that decision, what he loves about his new career and shares advice for those considering a career in care too.