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What a career in care can offer you later on in life

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Posted on 9th July 2018.

There is an increasing number of individuals who are opting to work as a carer, even after retirement. The fulfilment and purpose the role offers, alongside the extra income to support their pension, make a career in care a very exciting prospect.

Whether it’s the chance to follow through on a lifelong career goal, or a continuation of previous experiences, figures show that more people than ever are choosing to continue working after the national retirement age.

As the average life expectancy increases, it is estimated that more people will decide to work longer and will start a new job after the age of 60.

With Helping Hands being recognised by Glassdoor as one of the top places to work for in the UK, we have seen a number of individuals join our team after retirement – some who had not even worked within the care sector before.

Meet a few of them and see what they think about their new roles.

Fulfilling a long-term promise

Melvyn had enjoyed a career as a self-employed engineering consultant prior to joining Helping Hands. Working internationally and gaining experiences of living in different countries, Melvyn prides himself on his adaptable nature and ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He found that these qualities fit in perfectly with the role of a carer and so looked into joining the caring profession.

Giving back to those in need had been a personal promise he had made to himself and after retiring, he found he had the time to achieve this. “I had always wanted to give something back to society, and I discovered that one way to do this was to work as a care assistant.”

When describing his role, Melvyn says, “It’s tremendously varied and very rewarding to know that you can help people by providing a highly professional support.”

Through his work in the Coventry area, Melvyn has been able to make a positive impact on his customer’s lives. “I like to think that my visits are a source of happiness,” he explains, “especially for those who may not receive any other external contact throughout their day.”

From retired nurse to carer

Shelagh, a visiting carer

Shelagh came from a background in care, having worked as a nurse for many years in a variety of locations. She was able to acquire a vast amount of knowledge in this role, which she still wanted to use after her retirement.

Shelagh describes the journey to deciding to continue working in care. “I thought it was time for me to retire from working as a nurse, but quickly found that I missed the interaction that being in a caring role brings. I saw an advert for Helping Hands and decided to apply.”

Although Shelagh had previous experience, she still had some doubts as to whether she would succeed as a carer. “In the beginning I was unsure whether I could find the same fulfilment working as a carer, especially when I had always been in a more senior role,” she explains. “But soon found I enjoyed getting up and going to work to work each day.”

And her favourite aspect of her new role? “I like utilising my time to hopefully help and brighten someone’s day.”

Shelagh finds her role to be incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable, empathetically saying, “I would definitely recommend working for Helping Hands – I like how they support both their customers and carers alike to get the best outcome for all. It is great fun and I laugh each day.”

A complete career change

Another example of someone who chose to go down a different road after their previous career is Paul, a visiting carer in the Guildford & Godalming region. After working as a chartered accountant for 50 years, he promised himself a change which resulted in him applying to Helping Hands.

Working as a domiciliary carer since 2016, Paul visits numerous individuals and performs tasks such as meal preparation, providing social stimulation, maintaining personal hygiene and organising medication.

Paul can now say that as well as his immense knowledge of accountancy, he also has skills in supporting people who are living with a number of different conditions. “I have completed quite a lot of training in caring for someone who has dementia,” he shares. “This has left me confident that I am able to provide help and assistance to local people who need it.”

Kerry Wright