Louise is a Glasgow local currently in the second year of her medical degree at the University of Dundee. Growing up, her sister Melissa who has cerebral palsy, often had personal care assistants taking her out and doing various activities. This sparked something in Louise to be there to help others like her sister.
“My sister gave me the inspiration for my current career path. Melissa has cerebral palsy and requires personal assistance from carers. I’ve seen first-hand the physical and emotional support they have provided her which lit something in me to pursue a medical degree. I enjoyed science subjects at school and knew I wanted to work with people so adult social care was the clear next step.
“Many people my age get part-time jobs while studying in restaurants or in retail, I wanted to have a job that was related in some way to my degree course which is why I started in adult social care during my summer breaks and weekends.
“I work with two young adults who have a variety of needs from epilepsy, wheelchair use and learning difficulties. Like all young adults, they love to go on bike rides, boat trips and popping to the shops. When I am with them, I’m able to be a friendly face so that they know they are safe while providing respite to the families. My favourite aspect of the job is getting to know the person I’m supporting and their families to see where I can support best for everyone.
“Due to the care needs of the young adults I work with, I made sure to go through epilepsy training so I felt comfortable when we were out and about. The families I have worked with have made sure I had the tools and skills to best look after the individual I’m supporting, it is a privilege to be trusted by them.
“When people ask what I do for a part-time job around my studies, they are not familiar with a Personal Assistant role. There is a misconception there are only roles in care homes or hospitals but so many opportunities are in the community and taking people out to do things they may normally get to do but are capable of doing with a bit of support. Every person who needs support is different, and their interests are too, you can go to a gig one day or be playing board games the next.”
Louise’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:
“Take the chance and don’t miss out on a potentially amazing opportunity to better someone’s life. The Personal Assistant support we have had for my sister and how I can now support the individuals who need it shows how beneficial it is not just to the person but to their families as well.”
Jim Liddle and Craig Rogers
Senior Care Practitioner and guest at Leuchie House, North Berwick