Introducing the Birdie Carer of the Week: Karen Merritt
April 10, 2020
Each and every day there are an army of dedicated care staff going the extra mile to make someone’s life better. Never before has their hard work, tenacity and positive attitude been more important. We asked our partner agencies to nominate their very own frontline care heroes, those going the extra mile every day to deliver the best care. We’re excited to introduce you to our next Carer of the Week, Karen Merritt from Trust Home Care. Read on to discover her story...
Karen always goes above and beyond, helps the on call, and remains polite and respectful, picks up any shift asked of them irrespective of where the shift is or who it is and at short notice, (with minimal moaning 😂), always covers work on her weekend off (and has done this quite a lot) has moved areas to support other staff when they have been short staffed, and is also hitting 100% with call logs and stats. Leanne Hulme, Care Coordinator & Julie Slator, Owner, Trust Home Care
“Karen, how are you coping with COVID-19?”
"I'm doing okay because I love what I do. The clients are paranoid but I reassure them that I am taking all the correct measures such as being first in shopping, not mingling with other people, wearing correct PPE and using hand gel. I also always reassure clients I'm clean and have them watch me wash my hands to reassure them further."
“What's the biggest challenge you've faced?”
"I do feel safe and you're never challenged when you're doing something you love and I love what I do! But I am worried about bringing anything back home to the family. My husband is at risk and I worry about it affecting him. My son is also a carer and lives with me so I'm afraid he may bring it back too. But there are no big worries as I am happy and reassured with the equipment we use and I know I always keep clean."
“How do you keep positive?”
“I have faith in our people that we will overcome this together. I love my clients and know it is much harder for them and I know I'm doing something good working as a carer”
"How do you maintain a work-life balance?"
"It is hard to have working 65hrs/wk. I leave my family to their own devices when I come home. My husband is in another room to ensure I don't bring anything to him but I love taking my border collie, Tilly, out for a run. I live opposite a big park so it's relaxing to take her out and unwind."
“Do you have a support system?”
"My daughter is probably my closest friend. I'm always talking to her and texting her. I share everything with her and am very attached to my grandkids so it's a shame I can't see them. But speaking to her makes me feel better."
“Does Birdie help make it easier?”
"Yes! It is much better than writing on paper and is a lot more direct in informing you of all health issues. There's a lot more information with their health and the previous carers' to read beforehand which means I know what I'm going into before I go to the client's house."
A message to all carers...
"Please look after each other, unite, and carry on doing the good work we're doing because we are. We are all one big unit throughout the country and we've got to keep on doing what we do. We can't be selfish now. We are a great asset to the community. We are doing fantastic work so lets all keep going to look after our service users, keep them safe and kick this corona virus. Stay strong and keep safe!"
We’d like to say a huge well done to Karen, and thank you for doing the work you do. We’ll be posting a Carer of the Week each and every week so make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram to see the winners.
Want to make your own nomination? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org