Described as true asset to the care profession, Richard Franks is another of our fantastic Radar’s Hero Awards winners.
His nominees raved about his ability to light up a room with his smile and great attitude, how he’s always willing to help out (no matter the circumstances), and how he regularly receives letters of thanks from people he cares for.
We caught up with him to hear his thoughts on getting into care and inspiring a new generation of carers…
Getting into healthcare
As a young man, I trained as a nurse but packed it in three months before the final exams to move in the electronics industry. I enjoyed a long career in electronics, but after being made redundant at 58 years old I decided it was time for a change.
I saw an ad for a care worker role in a care home and worked there for 13 years. Then, after turning 70 a couple of years ago, I thought that before I retire completely, I’d like to work in the community and that’s what led me to my current role at A&B Healthcare.
Day to day
We help clients in their own homes, assisting with bathing, dressing, shaving and lots of other tasks that mean they can maintain everyday life at home rather than having to move to a care setting. Our support is especially helpful for our clients’ partners – particularly those with dementia – as it means the partner gets to take a break. Some partners can’t leave our clients alone to go out during the day, so we’re really supporting the whole family as well as caring for the person who’s ill.
One family that particularly stays with me was a lady whose husband was dying in unpleasant circumstances. They both needed lots of support, and she wrote a letter of thanks to me and another colleague. It’s lovely to hear how we’ve helped.
It’s always nice to hear how appreciative my colleagues and clients are that I help out whenever needed, but as I pointed out at my initial job interview, at this time of my life I’m available at short notice. All my children have flown the nest! If you’re doing this sort of job you have to do it properly, and that means helping out whenever necessary. For example, for a few of our clients, if we’re not available to help them get out of bed they stay in bed – so we make ourselves available.
The past 12 months have obviously been difficult, especially gearing up with PPE. But it’s the same for everyone and we just get on with it. A&B has ensured we’ve all had the COVID vaccination and we’re on top of things I think.
In our line of work, supportive colleagues is key and we can always ring up our Team Leader to get support, as well as from our team mates.
Inspiring a new generation of carers
I always encourage people to come into this line of work – you never know, I might need the support myself one day! It would be especially great to get younger members of staff joining us but they don’t seem too attracted to these roles, sadly.
I hope the past 12 months has helped to raise the appreciation of the caring profession. Not everyone could do this type of work – there’s loads of training involved and it’s a very important job. It’s also very individual and that’s why we need people from all generations and all walks of life on the team.
The role is very rewarding and it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ situation because everyone we help is different with different physical and emotional needs – it never feels like ‘just a job’.
A&B Healthcare are a family business built upon family values, and I feel a real degree of loyalty towards them. They always strive to do their best, and they’re a good company to work for. I’m very happy with what I’m doing.
“Richard is a real asset to our company and we are extremely proud of his achievement! As a family business, family values are at the heart of all we do and a win for one of us is a win for us all.
Each and every member of our team are valued and appreciated, and it is so lovely to see one of our team members receiving this recognition for their hard work.
Well done Richard and well done team A & B! Thank you to all staff for your continued support and dedication.”
Lou McHale, Head of Recruitment, A & B Healthcare