When Carrie's Mum became seriously ill, she gave up her job as a senior manager to become a carer. Read more about her inspiring story

Carrie Parr, age 47, from Blackpool was a senior manager at colleges in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, she enjoyed her career and never imagined things could take such a drastic change in life.

Carrie’s mother became seriously ill, and a care package was put in place to support her at home. Carewatch Blackpool was chosen to provide Carrie’s mother with the care and support she needed.

Her mother’s health deteriorated, and Carrie realised something had to change. So, she made the decision to stand down from where she was working, so she could also care for her mother. Carrie also decided to apply to be a Care Worker for Carewatch Blackpool, allowing her the freedom to be in the area more, and see more of her mum.

Carrie says “I had to decide whether being with her and changing careers was worth more than my career at the time, and the answer was a no-brainer… so I took the plunge and decided to switch careers.”

Joining Carewatch in November 2015, receiving a £250 welcome bonus which helped with the immediate changes in her life. Carrie enjoyed her work and the people she worked with. Sadly, her mother passed away in March 2016, but she found comfort in her work:

“I love the work. It might seem strange, but caring for people has helped with my own grief over losing my mother back in March this year. I try always to provide the care I would have wanted for my own dear mum. This is the rule of thumb for me. Each person is unique and you have to be totally switched on to the individuals’ needs and requirements. You start by reading the care plan in detail, then you discuss the plan with each person.”

Carrie’s advice for people looking to change career to care work

The needs and requirements change for each person all the time, so as a carer it is essential you are fully engaged with each person for the time you are allotted to provide any care. Good caring starts with empathy and general care for everyone’s welfare. Carers are the eyes and ears on the ground for the total welfare of each person so it is extremely important we are observant and diligent. Communication both written in the logbook and verbally, ‘on call’ or in the office, is central as well.
A carer also needs to be a strong team-player whether working as a pair delivering care or working alone because you try to always plan ahead.

A good carer knows they are good when people are pleased to see them and always ask when they are coming back

I would recommend caring as a career for the right person. I don’t believe that it is a job; I know it is a vocation and we can make a real difference to those in the most need, so it’s a privilege.