Paul is 92-years -old and his life is significantly slowed by Alzheimer’s, but when his 74-year -old CareGiver Ann arrives to get Paul out of bed, bathed and groomed, his face lights up with pleasure.
Paul specifically asked his care provider to find someone older to help him, as he worried he would feel uncomfortable receiving personal care from someone younger.
His daughter Cath is delighted with how things are working. “Ann knows the frustrations of ageing and has a lot of patience and understanding,” she said. “I feel she relates to Dad very well indeed. He trusts her implicitly and they can talk about the ‘old days’ with shared recollection.
“She is quite fierce in protecting his independence and has a lot of life experience to fall back on.
“We have an agreement that she must leave any physical jobs to my husband and me, but in all other areas she has made family life so much better for us all and really brightens up Dad’s day.”
Ann is not alone. As the demand for elderly care at home increases with our rapidly ageing society, good CareGivers are in high demand and many care providers are finding that active seniors – sometimes nearly the same age as their clients – feature among their best employees.
The number of older people remaining in work is also increasing; with economic uncertainties and people living longer on fixed incomes, many are drawn to elderly care to supplement their retirement incomes.
The UK Government recognises the value of recruiting older people. Department for Work and Pensions [DWP] Minister, Steve Webb MP has said: “Older workers have a huge amount to bring to any workforce and are a vast, untapped talent in the UK labour market. The business case is compelling…”
Minister for Women, Nicky Morgan MP added: “Experienced and mature workers are a valuable asset to the UK economy… We need to provide extra support and help employers challenge outdated perceptions to see the real strengths of this important section of the workforce.”
“Right at Home is a leader in hiring older caregivers to provide home care for other seniors and disabled adults,” explains Kate Dilworth from Right at Home UK. “Active elderly CareGivers offer years of work experience and a compassionate awareness of what it means to age and how to relate well with people their own age or older.
“Their own life experience leaves them more adaptable and composed than their younger counterparts when it comes to handling on-the-job difficulties and unexpected client care issues.
“They also have a great work ethic, having grown up learning the value of making commitments and holding to them. The benefit of older people caring for their peers is a win-win situation for all of us.”