A day in the life of…The Senior Carers’ Support Officer

Our Senior Carers' Support Officer, Tom
Our Senior Carers’ Support Officer, Tom

I do a bit of everything: in terms of supporting carers I offer advice over the phone, as well as visiting them at home for longer support planning sessions.

Having been a carer myself, for multiple people, I know how tough it can be, often with no reward.

This understanding enables empathy, whilst being able to discuss the challenging aspects of being a carer: they may not have acknowledged or be struggling with the more complex feelings of guilt, anger or sadness, be it with anyone else or even to themselves. A good example of this is recognising that you can’t ‘fix’ the person you care for, and that’s ok; or coping with the effects of dementia on a loved one: you end up grieving twice. Grief in itself is a whole other ballgame…

I also work with a group of carers delivering training at Bath University. We teach Social Work Students the importance of carers, how to support them and treat them as expert partners. Leading on from this, I have been out in the community for the past couple of years raising awareness of what a carer is and encouraging agencies to refer to the Carers’ Centre. The most people I spoke to was 100, but even speaking to one person is worthwhile as they will tell one person, who will tell two people, and so on.

I also manage a team of people here at the centre. This brings its own challenges, but none have sued me for distress yet so I must be doing something right…

– Tom