My role is to support people moving into a care home. People might start talking to me months in advance or find themselves in more immediate need because of a discharge from hospital after a fall.
After working as a restaurant manager, I realised I was good at relating to customers. However, I couldn’t see a long-term career for me in restaurants. Whilst trying to decide what to do next, I started work as a carer for an agency. My mum worked in a care home, so I knew what the role involved. I found I really enjoyed being a carer, and once I found Avondale where I decided to settle. Within 3 years I was a team leader and then became a client services manager.
Care is a very high level of customer service.
My days are really varied; showing potential residents and their families around or talking to people who live at Avondale about how they’re doing. I might get to know people over a few weeks, but it might also be a longer relationship over several years. I’m there helping with pre-admission for a resident and their family, I’m there on the day they move in and, I’m also there at the end of their journey. It’s an honour to take care of someone and get to know them throughout their time here.
In the home, I act as a kind of middleman ensuring that we action people’s feedback. Having been a carer, I understand how the care home works and so can support our staff to do their best. I’ve also been well-trained so can help with advice on anything from power of attorney to funding sources.
I know clients are relaxed talking to me and families are happy with what I do.
My job is the best because I get to learn the stories of people’s lives and their history. Families often call at a point of crisis and it’s rewarding to be able to help. It’s also lovely to be able to find out what people like doing or would like to do. This might be something simple but could be fulfilling a dream; for example, we recently took three of our residents flying! Many of our residents say their lives change positively when they move into our home.
Being a client services manager has helped me understand what’s important and to learn to live life to the full.
The role has many rewards and I’d encourage others to consider it when looking at their future careers. Many carers move into team leader roles and then qualify as nursing staff. But, it’s important to know there are other opportunities for progression in a care home.
So, if you’re a people person, someone who is good at listening and sensitive to how different people act and react, a client services manager role might be for you.