Her career in accountancy began in 1979, but a change in personal circumstances and a suggestion from a friend that she contact Country Cousins put her on a new life path in 2008.
“I’d settled in South Africa with my husband, but after he died I was looking for work that would fit in with my visits to the UK to see my family. A part of what I was doing in the UK was providing companionship for my mother, and I thought I could certainly do that for other people. Sure enough, I absolutely love what I am doing now as a carer. I’ve found my true vocation by accident.”
Now a permanent resident of West Yorkshire, Janet provides care for clients all around the UK. “I get to meet amazing people with fascinating life stories. One lady, who was 99 when I looked after her, had been a psychiatrist. This was when women were struggling even to get into university. Another client was an architect and I used to take her to visit old buildings so she could tell me all about construction and design.
“I try to engage with a client’s interests – it always helps.” she jokes: “One client was a keen walker and wanted to walk absolutely everywhere – I lost weight on that job!”
Janet is a keen advocate of live-in care: “Most people, especially those with dementia, benefit from being in their own home, getting one-on-one care.”
She adds: “It gives me great satisfaction to know someone has gone to bed happy after a nice day. I try to look after clients, in the same way, I’d hope my family would be looked after.”