1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Miss A

    Miss A Registered User

    Oct 26, 2012
    61
    The South West
    Hi,

    Firstly if I am posting this in the wrong group or if I would benefit from asking this elsewhere please advise. This forum has provide me with much support in the past and so this was naturally my first thought.

    I am 30 years old and am the main carer for my 71 year old Dad who has mixed dementia, vascular and Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed 5-6 years ago. I live with my Nan who isn't a dementia suffer but has physically aliments and she relies on me to support her physically.

    I also work full time in the advertising industry as a creative designer. I studied graphic design and visual communication at university and have worked within this field for most of my adult working life (past 7 years).

    Recently I have been re-thinking my career and re-assessing my work and the role that I play. I don't find it rewarding anymore, and my enthusiasm has gone. Since looking after my Dad I feel I have changed as a person and have a different outlook on life. I mean that in a positive way, I am not the person I was 10 years ago and over the past 6 months or so I have been thinking of the idea of changing careers, and re-training, specifically towards dementia care.

    I am not saying this lightly, I feel very passionate about helping elderly people especially dementia suffers and have a keen interest in if I can make this into a career. I have no medical training and cannot afford to give up work so I would need to have a paid role. What can I do, or who would I need to speak to to discuss this? Has anybody reading this swapped careers in their 30s and 40s? I am happy to volunteer to see my options but services are limited in my location.

    Many thanks

    Miss A


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  2. Oxy

    Oxy Registered User

    Jul 19, 2014
    957
    Your sentiments are laudable. However you are young and have a degree. Hands on care without medical training would provide poor pay. Think into the future and remember the grass is always greener next door.
    much research is required prior to making such a big move. One dementia patient is not all patients. Working in a care home or EMI unit would help you in your final decision.
    Maybe within advertising or management (non medical) within a large care home group. You should seek to transfer your skills. Easier to cross over if you keep your training but in new field.
    You are still working f/t- so you are not in thick of it 24/7. In a caring role you would be dealing with all sorts of issues all day but of course emotional attachment would not be present as with a loved one.
    You need to wait for other views-this is just what I thought. Good luck but don't Rush in too quickly.
     
  3. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #3 Lindy50, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
    Hello Miss A :)

    What a committed person you are! It certainly sounds as though you have a lot to give to the world of care, and dementia care in particular :) I have to sound a word of caution, though - are you sure that you are not losing enthusiasm for your career because you are so involved in your caring role? I know from experience that it is very difficult to combine the two....

    Another caution: a lot of work in the care world is very lowly paid, and unless you are in the right environment, you may find that there is little room for promotion. Which of course has both personal and financial implications.....

    However, you do obviously have a lot to offer. Several possible ways forward occur to me:
    - could you make an appointment at your local college and find out what courses they do in this field? You could make a start on a modular basis and see how you go
    - could you call your local Age UK, Alzheimers Society, Young Dementia and other organisations? Go in and have a chat with them? they may have paid or voluntary positions available, and may be able to give you general information
    - could you do a first aid course, get DAB registered and then perhaps do some independent care work, as a personal assistant?

    A professional career is possible, as a social worker, community nurse, occupational therapist etc, but qualifications for this type of role are degree level and take at least three years on a full time basis. Bursaries (of about £8k a year) may be available while training, and it may also be possible to take out a career loan.

    Before embarking on such a huge change, however, would you consider changing your job? A lot of charitable and not for profit organisations employ designers - perhaps you might be happier with a change of employer?

    These are just some ideas. Do get professional advice from colleges and employers before you do anything. I really wish you the best of luck.

    Hope to hear how you get on :)

    Lindy xx
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,715
    Female
    London
    I know where you are coming from. Before I gave up my job I was quite disenchanted with working in a sector that seems so trivial compared to caring. I am concentrating on my caring role for now but if and when I go back to work I know I don't want to go back there. However, I know my limitations as well as my strengths which lie in admin, so whichever role in a caring organisation I'd pursue would be in that field. Maybe you can think how you could use your current skills in the care sector? Not everyone needs to work in a care home in order to do good.
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Welcome fellow graphic designer Miss A.
    If you want to go into the care industry which is notoriously badly paid you would need to go in at a level where you earned a decent salary, so what about reducing your working hours and do a specialist qualification so you can change professions without starting out at the bottom?
    I have no idea what courses you may need to do, but getting an "RMA" seems to be the qualification the higher level recruitment ads ask for in the care home sector, then with qualifications and the hands on from your Dad and Nan there may be a opportunity to make a career rather than just getting a job on minimum wage.
    Personally I did it the other way round started off as a nurse the became a graphic designer but I made the swap in my 20's so many years ago.
    K
     
  6. Miss A

    Miss A Registered User

    Oct 26, 2012
    61
    The South West
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my thread, I appreciate all you thoughts.

    The concept of pay cropped up a couple of times. I currently earn between 16k-17k after tax so I am not on a brilliant wage anyway. It has taken me 7 years to get to that stage I started a lot lower. My current role offers no progression either. If I ever did change careers and move into care, it wouldn't be for money anyway, it would be for personal reasons and the search for job satisfaction. It's hard to explain but I just don't feel design is for me anymore. I think life and life experiences change your perception and outlook and I have certainly being weighing up what is more important in life.

    I have been doing some research this morning (yes at work!) and I have found some interesting courses. One in particular caught my eye which is certificate in the principles of dementia care level 2. I have called the college and they are sending me more information.

    I also think where I live has impacted on my feelings. I live in North Devon where advertising roles are scarce and care is in face the largest employment field in the south west. I know first hand how little support there is in this neck of the woods, unless you live in Exeter or Plymouth you are very much alone. I just want to help and I do think I have a lot to give, even if it is life experience. I certainly agree that each dementia suffer is very different to the next. This is why I have a real interest in dementia and find it fascinating how so many thousands of people adapt to what is a horrible illness.

    Thank you for listening :0)

    Xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app
     
  7. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    That course sounds like a good place to start, Miss M :)

    Could you also fit in a bit of part time work or volunteering in the care field? Or maybe the course includes such a placement?

    Good luck :)

    Lindy xx
     
  8. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    I had a quick look round and in 5 minutes found these ads, I'm not saying these ones are suitable for you but this type of thing, personal one to one caring might be the way to go. Both are in south Devon but they sound really interesting.
    K

    Disabled Artist/Parent is looking for an Assistant to work with her in all aspects of her life. Domestic, personal, social & work related tasks. Must be able to drive & Sleep-In during shifts. No experience necessary, but open to learn. 8 to 12 days p.m. Broken down into 2 to 4 days shifts.
    Average salary £1,500 p.m.

    Personal Care Assistant Required
    I’m looking to employ a team of enthusiastic and down to earth girls to become my care team. I’m a 27 year old disabled female needing assistance with all aspects of daily routine, from personal care to general household chores and all the fun stuff in between. I can drive my own adapted vehicle, love cooking, baking and socialising, and have both a cat and a dog who are extremely entertaining.
    I need you to be a non smoker due to my poor lung function, but I don’t require you to have experience in care roles. I’ll train you to be able to assist me safely and provide all equipment needed, so with your capable attitude you can help me fulfil my independent life style. The job would require a live-in role for scheduled assignments are requires you to be flexible for a very rewarding job opportunity. Please know that I’m a keen traveller so if you’re able to be flexible and dependable you may be requested to accompany me on trips abroad.
    I’m a published children’s book illustrator, so some days you may need to entertain yourself if I’m producing imagery for a new project, but be on hand if I need assistance. You’ll have your own bedroom with a TV and highspeed Wifi during these times, which is yours to use as you please during your assignment.
    If you think you’d like to know more about this opportunity, please message me and I can send you details with an application form. Genuine applicants only please, this is my life and my health at stake so please do consider if this is a suitable job for you before applying.
     
  9. Miss A

    Miss A Registered User

    Oct 26, 2012
    61
    The South West
    Thank you very much Kevinl for your post. I'm really touched, that's kind of you. They sound really interesting, I may look into that further. Thank you for your help :0)


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app
     

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