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omgseriously omgseriously 36-40, F 9 Answers Apr 25, 2012

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I've worked in all of those settings, usually they are seen as a money making scheme by private owners, in their rush to get rich, they pay a pitance and skimp on training and supervision so they had young, immature and academically challenged staff that bred a culture of disrespect and inadequate care. I've always hoped to be in a position where if any of my family need to be cared for, I can do it myself rather than have them live in a nursing home. I think everyone deserves better that the care that is currently given at nursing and residential homes.

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Thank you for your honesty!

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I totally agree, you could not be more accurate!

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What job would you pursue if you had a desire to work with people and have a compassionate heart?

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It's not a job exactly but they pay your exprenses. I'm a foster carer. England is currently 10,000 foster carers short and it's so rewarding and you are your own boss as to the standard of care you give :o)

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You are right about it being a money maker. I worked for 2 companies that provided care for adults with mental disabilities and it was just that. A buisness. The state gives out a certain amount of money to the company per resident for taking care of them. The companies that take the residents in usually do the bare minimum to take care of the people. Like really bare bones so they can keep the cost down and bank more money. But you as a staff can get in there and make things pretty good for the residents buy caring for them and trying to make their life fun and good. its a tough bracket in some ways. most of the facilities are underfunded and the staff are usually underpaid and the conditions are usually not that great.

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Yeah, I've worked for a private care home for adults with learning disabilities and also for a Charity "not for profit" organisation, if I had to work again, I would choose a cgharity every time over private organisations :o)

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I used to work at a nursing home, and I can tell you that it was the most wonderful job I have ever had. Those elderly people were so precious and taught me so much about life in the 2 years I worked there. <br />
I learned that just because you get gray hair and wrinkles and you can't do what you once could, you are still essentially the same person you always were. You still laugh at the same jokes, you still have a favorite color, you still have opinions and you still appreciate the kindness of a stranger. Five minutes with one of those people would seriously make their day. We never stop needing love and attention and compassion. Working there changed my life and my outlook on death as well. Not one of the patients I worked with feared death. It seems like as you grow older, you become more at peace with the life cycle and when it's your time, you aren't afraid. <br />
I miss that place!<br />
The worst part about working there was seeing how sad and neglected a lot of them felt when their families stopped coming to visit. If any of you have relatives in the nursing home, PLEASE don't forget about them. All they have is their memories of you and the hope that you will come see them again soon.

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What position did you have? I would like to work with the people. I worked in a nursing home for one day in the kitchen and got in trouble for stopping for a second to speak to a little lady who was clutching my arm in desperate hope that I would speak to her. I would need a job where interaction is expected and encouraged, I can't treat them as if they don't exist. Any guidance? Is it hard to get in to the biz?

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I was nothing but a housekeeper. (I can't handle bodily fluids!) But I loved my job, and because I am a speedy cleaner, I usually had a spare hour after all my rooms were done, and that's when I would go from room to room and talk with the patients. I never got in trouble, as long as my work was done.

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By the way- you could easily become a CNA (certified nurses assistant) by calling around to local nursing homes and asking if they offer CNA classes. Some nursing homes will teach you how to care for the elderly, and you take a state test and become certified. There is usually a fee for your supplies and books, etc, but most nursing homes will give you hands-on training and even waive or reimburse your application fee if you sign a contract to work for them for an amount of time. Best of luck to you- it's a wonderful career for compassionate people. :)

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Thank you so much for your valuable advice! BTW Being a housekeeper is hard work don't sell yourself short! I am so glad I asked, you taught me a lot, thank you!

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You're welcome!!!

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I work in an assisted living home/nursing home. I love my job, it is what I was meant to do. It is happy, sharing old memories with residents, seeing them smile, knowing that you are making a difference and being apart of there life. It is sad, watching them determinate, watching cry as you clean them up after having an accident, watching them suffer and eventually pass. The worst part of my job is that people actually put their loved ones in our facility. We are so under staffed all the time, we have 26 full need residents and most of the time only 2 caregivers sometime 3. This means 26 residents to get out of bed, feed toilet do and activity, toilet again, wash up for bed, get into bed, do about 6 loads of laundry, 2 showers all in seven and a half hours. That does not count getting report, giving report, head counts, alarms going off, accidents, falls, trash, stocking rooms, folding laundry distributing it and on and on and on. In a recent meeting the owner told us that as a business we were worth 12.2 million dollars and now they are trying to make budget cuts??? Its not fair to our residents, I would beg anyone who would consider placing a loved one in a home to really look into it and know what you are getting into...

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I didn't work there, my father used to live @ one. In some ways it was great because they provided all his needs (toileting, changing, feeding, medicating & lifting him in & out of his wheelchair). The first one he went to was a rehabilitation center (he had a fall) and they were bad news ... they wanted to bleed him dry of his entire savings by overcharging for everything and I mean everything plus they made him sick & didn't have any intention of making him fully well, ever. The second one wasn't nursing (hospital like) more assisted living (which is better). They treated him much better & he was never sick there, they followed state hygiene guidelines much better. Yet they did hire mostly immigrants that didn't speak English very well, they too were very wasteful of money & the things I brought for him to use (like his wealth was endless-not), they didn't understand American work ethics (don't put the client or family down in front of the other residents or don't blame the resident for what you're unable to accomplish yourself) & the cost of his care was astronomical (if he lived longer I would have had to taken up bank robbery). The thing I noticed which I disliked the most was the high turnover rate. Only 5 people out of a staff of over 200 was the same 2 years later. Usually high turn over rate means poor management (I know I worked at a different place w/bad management). It seemed like a hard job with little rewards and very long hours.

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I worked in a group home for adults with mental disabilities for 3 years when I lived in Oregon. It was a pretty tough job but I loved it. The pay was not too good. I think I made 8.20 an hour and that was as far as you could go in pay unless you moved up to manager or assistant manager with more responsibilities and have to be on call all the time. The company I worked for specialized in dealing with adults that have mental disabilities and are known for behavioral problems. Some of them were self abusive, some of them were aggressive towards the staff and other residents. <br />
We only had 3 residents in one home. I really liked the job. I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of the adults that lived there and enjoyed working with them but it was not always easy. You would have times when they were good for weeks on end and then times when they freak out and try to hit somebody or throw things around or do some other weird thing. but that kept you on your toes and you never knew how the day was going to go. The residents were all MRDD (mentally retarded developmentally disabled) and they all had been diagnosed buy a psychiatric doctor and had at least one mental disability. They were usually autistic, schizophrenic, bi-polar or something along those lines. I really liked the job at times but there was a lot of red tape. You had to everything buy the book and document everything in writing. Because we had residents that were aggressive at times we had to restrain them... when they were trying to hurt themselves or hurt others. and again you had do do a decent amount of paper work to document each situation. Everything was buy protocol... doctors would map out a protocol for each type of behavior so you had to do everything buy the books. But it was cool. It was one of the most interesting jobs I ever had and me and the other staff really bonded and I kind of bonded with some of the residents too. so most of the days were good. Some days would be really bad when one of them gets set off and is throwing things around and trying to hit people and you <br />
have to take them down onto a Matt buy protocol for their own safety and so forth. most of the time it was not bad. When they were having really good days I could take them in the company van into the community and maybe bring them to a movie or to the mall or something and they could buy something with their own allowance. They are basically adults who never matured in their brain past the age of a child. so they throw temper tantrums and so forth. But it was interesting work<br />
the only thing I did really not like about it was the Pay was pretty bad for what you had to put up with. If the job paid more I would have stayed more than 3 years.

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Supported independent living with adults with learning difficulties very rewarding i teach cookery and gardening as i say rewarding challenging but never a dull moment sadly very underpaid not just where i work but everywhere in this profession hence often a high turnover of staff

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How do you find out about these jobs? Is it through social services?

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I did about 20 years ago as an nurses assistant (weekends only). Hard, backbreaking, sad, gross, funny, and rewarding too.

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What made you change jobs?

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I only did it on weekends so my hubby could stay with kids and I stayed home during the week. After 2 years of EVERY weekend I got burned out. Plus, there were some really large imobile patients, I was starting to get backaches and at 23 years old, I said screw it and gave notice.

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Very understandable.

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Working in a group home...<br />
First, let me establish my cred...<br />
Since the age of 19, all I have done is work in Residential facilities for disabled and behaviorally challenged adults. I have worked my way through the ranks, from regular line staff, to house manager, to Program manager (Manager of 2-4 houses) and eventually becoming an administrator, overseeing the operations of nearly 20 homes for one of the largest residential providers in my state. I've worked with all populations, from medically fragile to the behaviorally volatile and everything in between.<br />
When deciding to work at a group home, you need to weed through the multiple posts of people telling you how "Rewarding" it is... Now I'm not saying that it can't be a spiritually or emotionally rewarding at times, but the realities are, if you work in a small Group Home (2-8 residents) 90% of your Job will be REALLY boring. On average, you will have about an hour of actual "Work" to do. This will include charting, cleaning, cooking and client care... you WILL fight to stay awake and you WILL become an expert in everything 'Law and Order' (including lesser known spinoffs). The other 10% of your job will be terrifying and exhausting... both emotionally and physically. If you're working with the Medically fragile, an illness or injury may require your attention for you're entire shift. If you work with the Behaviorally Challenging, you will be dodging the fire extinguisher hurled at your head, You'll be using mirrors to look around corners because a resident who's been refusing his medication has stolen a chair from the dining room and may be hiding around a corner, ready to club you with it.<br />
While it may be a cliche, it is true... it takes a special person to work in a Residential Facility. Do you have a degree in psychology or social work? Good for you! Guess what, it doesn't make you any more or less able to handle the unique rigors of working in a Group Home than the guy with a GED and two DUI's. When making the decision to work in a Residential Facility, one needs to weigh the pro's and con's.<br />
Pro:<br />
The food. If you're single or in your 20's, this is by far, the best part of the job. Most Group home jobs not only allow you too, but encourage you to eat with the clients. This means nutritionally balanced meals that often times, you cook for everyone. Don't know how to cook? By the end of your first month you'll practically be a chef.<br />
Entertainment/Activity: While Group home activity may seem stale at first, just wait. You haven't lived until you've broken up two grown adults trying to kill each other over a draw 4 wild being dropped in a game of UNO. Activity in a group home is what you make of it. Most Residents will refuse the standard fare of board games or movie, so mix it up... I've had weekend long squirt gun fights... Hell, I invented my own game, it was called "Fan Ball" and involved throwing a tennis ball into a ceiling fan (points were scored for hitting the pictures on the walls). When all else fails, take them on an outing... Go to the museum, the movies (anything but WalMart).<br />
The Training: All residential care providers are required to provide training for task specific duties. But more than that is how you learn to be a functional adult. After a year of working in a group home, you've become a chef, a handyman, a nurse, a therapist, a life coach, a security guard, a bouncer, a doctor and able to name every Detective AND DA pairing on Law and Order since Noth/Dzunda.<br />
Flexibility: The reality is, while you'll get hired to work 2nd or third... you can always switch with someone and most providers aren't going to balk at it. Also, given the staggering amount of turnover most providers have, there will usually be a TON of OT hours available.<br />
CON<br />
Schedule: Given the high amount of turnover, you may find your employer has decided to plug you into open hours/shifts without prior knowledge. This has become a trend since recession among many providers (not mine)... So when applying for GH job, ask the employer if they have "Set" schedules.<br />
Coworkers: Get ready for a revolving door of shift partners! If you last longer than 6 months at most residential providers, you're considered a seasoned veteran. New employees may start of strong, but give up at the most inopportune moments. Group homes run 24/7/365, so if someone doesn't show up, too bad, you're stuck working. This has happened to EVERY person who works at a group home.<br />
Personal Life: As a staff, you always have the opportunity to say "NO"... But God help you if you're any good and they offer you a promotion. You're on call 24/7 and at any given time, forced to leave family functions, going in at 2 am to deal with a problem or losing out on time with your family due to limited staffing and your phone will ring CONSTANTLY.<br />
If you don't accept a promotion, you need to understand that caregiving will take a toll on your mind, body and interpersonal relationships. "Caring" may become hard for you... whether this be with a spouse or significant other, or with your children or family. You will become somewhat cold and distant. You may decide to take up smoking (Group home jobs traditionally don't have "Breaks", smoking is often the ONLY way to get away for a little while). Problem drinking is also a common side effect of professional caregiving.<br />
<br />
If you're going to be successful as a professional care giver, you need to develop a somewhat twisted sense of humor... a sense of humor that will often make your friends and family recoil in horror. For example, when you tell the story about the resident that was trying to burn her face on the stove, people may be disturbed... but when you can't tell the story without laughing so hard you're literally in tears, you're probably not getting invited to your cousin's wedding. Now that might sound bad, the reality is, You're signing up for a job where you are routinely going to hit, bit, spit on, sworn at and possibly stabbed (15 years, stabbed 3 times... 1 pen, 1 fork and 1 spoon... Oh yes, I was stabbed with a spoon)... So to cope you really do need to appreciate the absurdity of what you do for a living. <br />
In Sum, Ask yourself this question... Do I want to work on an assembly line, or in front of a computer, Or with a guy who routinely puts on a diaper and punches his mom?

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