Working in care as a Housekeeper – Sandra Sutherland
Working as a Housekeeper at Borough Care is a varied, rewarding role with plenty of flexibility too. We spoke with Sandra Sutherland, a Housekeeper at Silverdale, to hear more about her role as a Housekeeper, and why she loves spending quality time with our wonderful residents.
1. What does a typical day in the life of a Housekeeper look like?
Usually, we’ll start the day by helping serve breakfast for the residents. If there are any residents that aren’t able to come out of their rooms for breakfast, we’ll take their meals to their room – they’re always given a choice. Depending on their personal care needs, some residents may need help with their breakfasts so we’ll also help out with that. Some of our other duties include doing the pots in the rooms and ensuring that everything is tidy for the next staff member.
While the residents are having their breakfasts, we’ll do some housekeeping around the homes, for example, cleaning the toilets and lounges. Then, we’ll make a start on the bedrooms. At the moment, we’re also assisting with Covid testing when we have families visit the homes.
2. What led you to start your career in care? Did you always want to work in the sector?
No, that wasn’t the case for me. I joined the care sector after my son was born as I wanted a job that was flexible around my lifestyle. I joined Borough Care and started working as a Kitchen Assistant, doing 20 hours a week, before getting a job as a Part-Time Cook. After my time in the kitchen, I moved into care but quickly decided that it wasn’t for me. So, I then moved into Housekeeping and Laundry. The team was incredibly supportive while I changed jobs, which was brilliant – there were no problems at all! Now I’ve been at Borough Care for 34 years and I absolutely love it.
3. Why Borough Care? Is there anything specific that made you want to work for Borough Care, in particular?
The flexibility. I had a disabled son, who I sadly lost, and Borough Care was always so flexible and understanding when it came to my needs. My team is also really supportive. We all help each other and look out for each other.
4. What do you think is the best part of your job?
It’s definitely the time with the residents in the morning. All the residents are different so I love getting to know them and their likes and dislikes. I always do the breakfasts with the residents which is something that I enjoy doing. Even after going back into Housekeeping, I still get to get involved in the breakfasts with the residents which is amazing.
5. What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to start a career in care?
You need to know what’s expected of you. As with everything, there are parts of the job that won’t be as nice as others. But you always have someone there to support you in doing them. When you’re new to the role you might think that you need to learn everything overnight but you don’t as all staff go through training. Some people may need more than a few days of induction into the role which is absolutely fine. It’s not a matter of being fast, it’s a matter of knowing what you’re doing and doing it all properly.
6. A role as a Housekeeper seems like a great balance of working individually, in a team and with the residents as well. Was the versatility of the job something that drew you to the role?
Yes, definitely, because you get to have that closeness with the residents. If you finish your work during the day, you can get involved with activities at the home and spend quality time with the residents. No two days are the same here but that’s what makes the role so interesting!
7. We’re aware that Borough Care offers great training to all staff. Could you tell us about the training that you received to help you develop in your role as a Housekeeper? Is it something that you do often?
I’ve finished all my main training now but, when I first started, we did an MVQ 1 and 2 in Housekeeping which was really interesting. It was hands-on and really enjoyable. Now, we teach the newcomers everything they need to know. I’ve done bereavement counselling as well which is something that really helps the carers.
I always believe a resident should have someone with them when they die, as no one wants to die alone. That’s something that I’ve had to do a lot. At first, I found it difficult, but now I find it comforting to them to know that they have someone there.
Our rewarding careers
Want to start a new career in the care sector? We have plenty of exciting roles available across our Stockport and Staffordshire care homes. Stay up to date with the latest Borough Care news by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more information on our careers, follow our Twitter and Instagram jobs accounts.