Living with Cerebral Palsy
Helping Hands is dedicated to matching customers with the perfect Carer to deliver the highest-quality person-centred care. Naturally, this kind of work enables our Carers to establish strong and lasting bonds with their customers, and to enjoy a uniquely rewarding professional experience. Friendly and compassionate, our Carers really take pleasure in this unparalleled opportunity to work so closely with another person.
Live-in Carer Jo has worked for Helping Hands since March last year. “It’s been a dream,” she explains. “I’ve been really well supported from the start – especially coming from New Zealand and living in an unfamiliar country.”
Jo has been supporting her current customer, Kathleen, for over a year, and enjoys their friendship. Jo believes that Kathleen’s cerebral palsy and quadriplegia shouldn’t be a barrier preventing her from living the life she wants to live. This summer, Jo was thrilled to be able to make Kathleen’s dreams come true by accompanying her on holiday to Ireland – of course, this was an exciting trip for Jo, too. “It was a lot of fun! I did plenty of preparation beforehand so it went really smoothly when we got there,” says Jo.
Upon joining Helping Hands, every Carer is led through a specially-designed course by our award-winning training team, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to be confident in their new role. Jo’s expertise really shone through on the trip to Ireland – and was very much appreciated by Kathleen. Jo found that working on holiday and providing care in a different setting wasn’t stressful at all, and she was able to take extra steps to make sure she didn’t find herself out of her depth.
“We decided to get support from another Carer. It really helped Kathleen’s peace of mind. None of us had been to Dublin before so it really was fascinating, and it was lovely sharing the experience with Kathleen.” In fact, Jo didn’t find any aspect of working on holiday to be a problem. “Providing care in a different setting didn’t faze me. If anything, it showed me just how independent Kathleen is and how much she can do for herself without my assistance.”
Kathleen is certainly delighted with Jo’s support. “I had a wonderful time!” she exclaims. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I have ancestry there going back generations, so the trip was very important to me.”
Jo and Kathleen’s adventure didn’t end with Dublin. Whilst Kathleen’s highlight was seeing some live Irish dancing, Jo preferred the peaceful countryside. “My favourite part had to be driving the Ring of Kerry and taking in the beautiful scenery. We also visited Killarney, where we ate at a pub with live music and a fantastic atmosphere.”
But the holiday had even greater rewards for Jo. As a Live-in Carer, Jo works closely with Kathleen every day, so is able to see first-hand the positive impact her assistance has on Kathleen’s life. It is extremely satisfying for Jo to see all of her hard work and dedication paying off.
“This trip was something Kathleen had always wanted to do, but she was quite nervous,” Jo explains. “Before the holiday, she was hesitant about going out for day trips because of her care requirements. But Ireland has really made her realise that she’s more capable than she thought. I can tell she’s a lot more confident now.”
Helping Hands enables Carers to enjoy getting to know customers on a one-to-one basis. The relationships that are established, like the friendship Jo and Kathleen share, are truly special. We are committed to providing Carers in placements across England and Wales with rewarding experiences like this every day.