Allison McKay has worked as a home carer for 31 years, covering Cardonald and Hillington in the Southside.
Allison's shift pattern is 7 days on 7 days off, working out of hours from 4pm to 9.30pm Monday to Friday and a Saturday and Sunday morning. Allison says "This works well for me as I'm always around during the day to get things done in the house and to help out with family commitments. I enjoy working 14 days every month and there is always the option of overtime if I'm looking to pick up any extra shifts."
"The job itself is similar to a community nursing role we do everything from administering medication to delivering personal care. Ultimately, we are responsible for maintaining their quality of life and it's not just elderly service users either, we have younger service users with additional needs and terminal illnesses that we care for too."
"I think one of the aspects of the job I find the hardest is working on foot, I struggle more so in the winter because of the dark nights and inclement weather. However I am currently working in a pair as all my service users require support from more than one home carer, so having someone else beside me makes me feel safer and keeps my spirits up."
"It is such an important job, and this has been highlighted during the pandemic when at times we have been the only person our service users have seen for months due to restrictions. We are their lifeline and support. I have a bond with all my service users and feel privileged to have cared for so many different characters over the years. I love hearing their stories and helping to put a smile on their face."
Diane Quigg began her career as a home carer in 2007, and currently works in Shawlands in the Southside.
Diane's shift pattern is 7 days on 7 days off from 8am to 1.30pm and 4pm to 10 pm. Diane says "The start of my working week can feel quite intense after being off the previous week. I am always exhausted the first day back, it takes a lot out of you. However, after a couple of days I'm back into a routine and it gets easier. I like the fact as well that if I take a week's annual leave, I'm actually off for three weeks so get a good break."
"The job has been really challenging the past couple of years due to the pandemic which has caused staff shortages. We've all felt the repercussions of having to pick up more work and help each other out, you just get on with it though.
"It's such an important job and you feel a sense of duty towards your service users, we are the people who help keep them out of hospitals and care homes. If I'm ever in the position myself, I wouldn't hesitate to use the service it's invaluable to a lot of families.
"The best thing about the job is the relationships you develop not just with your service users but also with their relatives, you feel like part of their family. You develop an intuition with your service users and can tell if something seems 'off' with them, there's been times I've been able to tell they've had a urine infection or that their balance hasn't been right, so you can't underestimate just how strong a connection you develop with them.