“Go into care with an open heart, be flexible in your thoughts because every day is different and very often things don’t go to plan! The most important thing is to smile as the world smiles with you.”

Amanda Hobbs is a member of the team at Edenmore Nursing Home who thrives on the openness and unexpected nature of her role. Naturally empathetic and joining in a whole range of emotions with those who live at Edenmore, Amanda has immersed into supporting fulfilment, comfort, and overall wellbeing. The understanding and appreciation Amanda has for the people in her care, means she can connect with them whatever they are experiencing on their personal journey’s with dementia.

She has shared her story.

Tell us about your role at Edenmore?

“I am leading and facilitating a small, dedicated team to set up a complex care house at Edenmore named Coombe House. Coombe House is a house that is dedicated to supporting those who need support with their expressive emotions. Our ethos is to care for our family members holistically with empathy and compassion. I previously successfully set up a complex care house at Heanton and I am sharing my knowledge and skills with the team at Edenmore.”

What do you enjoy most about a day at Edenmore?

“I enjoy making connections with the family members I have the joy to support. Nothing gives me more pleasure than making somebody smile when they are having a difficult time. I like to spread laughter and will dress up or do a silly dance to make that happen. I also enjoy sitting quietly with someone and just holding their hand to give them comfort if that is what they need.”

How did you first get into care?

“I qualified in 2007 as a nurse and went to work within a prison, I had to sadly give it up as one of my daughters fell ill. I went back into the pub trade and was running a pub in Bristol, but even during this time I was still caring for others, I had an elderly customer who I used to do his shopping for and take to appointments. I moved back to North Devon in 2016 and my plan was to undertake a Return to Nursing programme (which I did). I needed to gain some experience as my plan was to work in a nursing home for a period of time and learn about the care that the elderly needed and then once I had completed my Return to Nursing Practice, I would return to work in a prison again.

“During my time at Heanton Nursing Home, I learnt a lot and then my skills were needed to support a gentleman who could only communicate through his emotions, and from there complex care was developed. I found this very rewarding and did not wish to re-register as a nurse but continue as a carer because I had found my calling and gained a huge amount of satisfaction which was worth more than anything else in the world.”

Why did you choose to join the Edenmore team?

“I did not choose Edenmore initially as I had had interviews at both Edenmore and Heanton in 2015, I worked at Heanton for four years and was asked to join Edenmore in 2020 as someone living there could have benefitted with some additional support with her expressive emotions. At first it was hard because I had made some very special connections with the people I cared for at Heanton but as the Coombe House began to grow at Edenmore my heart began to melt and I fell in love with Edenmore and those who live there.”

What’s it like at the home?

“The atmosphere in the home can change on a daily basis, it all depends on how the people we care for are feeling. Part of our responsibility is to keep the atmosphere as upbeat as possible whilst ensuring that there is an air of calmness and serenity.”

What is your recommendation for anyone considering a role in care?

“Go into care with an open heart, you only get out of it what you put into it. Be flexible in your thoughts because every day is different and very often things don’t go to plan. The most important thing is to smile as the world smiles with you (a bit difficult at the moment due to having to wear masks because of Covid, but we have learnt to smile with our eyes).”

Have you felt safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic?

“Yes, I have felt safe during Covid-19, we have always been kept informed and kept abreast of what is happening with regard to Covid-19 in our homes. We have never had any issues with regard of the supply of PPE that we need and our policies and protocols regarding the way we are expected to work are always available to us.”

Would you recommend Edenmore?

“I would recommend Edenmore because of the level of care that I have witnessed. When my grandfather fell ill last year an emergency respite bed was made available to us and the Edenmore team treated him with the dignity and respect that he deserved and identified the issues that I had considered. He sadly had to be admitted to hospital and passed away but if it hadn’t been for the care that he received at Edenmore in this emergency situation he would have had a very painful death at home.”

What do you hope for the future at Edenmore?

“Once the world becomes a safer place for those who we care for who wish to take trips out to go to the harbour for fish and chips out of the paper, an ice cream whilst sitting on a bench and looking out to the sea.”

If you been inspired by Amanda’s story and want to find out more about being a team member at Evolve Care Group get in touch!

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