Meet 81-year-old Elsie, the first domiciliary care worker to join our Register

29 June 2018
Social Care Wales

Eighty-one-year old Elsie Kyte from Cardiff has become the first domiciliary care worker to register with Social Care Wales.

This means Elsie, who works for 3D Care Cardiff, is the oldest person ever to join the Register of Social Care Workers in Wales. She is one of more than 300 domiciliary care workers to start an application for registration since the Register opened for this group of workers in April. 

Elsie is an experienced support worker who thoroughly enjoys her role at 3D Care Cardiff. 

“I never thought I’d be the first registered domiciliary care worker. I love my job and my employers are really supportive. They want us all to register and made sure we applied as soon as we could.

“It’s nice to have this recognition now. I started my career in retail and worked my way up from the shop floor to management. I retired early at 50 years old to care for my husband, mother and brother. I soon found I needed to get out of the house and missed working so I started doing shifts at the care home across the road.  

“Debbie, who I now work for, was part of the team that came to the house to care for my husband. She convinced me to try domiciliary care. That was more than 30 years ago – I haven’t looked back since.”

Elsie believes her age helps to build relationships with the individuals she supports. 

“Many of our clients have dementia, some are younger than me. They feel comfortable having someone they can identify with coming into their home. I understand them, we have shared experiences and can have a good natter. They enjoy the visits and I enjoy chatting with them.

“I also enjoy working with younger colleagues. In home care, you need to be prepared and trained to deal with the unexpected. Newer recruits can find some work situations challenging. When double-handling, I can give advice on difficult calls and support my colleagues who have less experience.

“I really enjoy being part of the team. I don’t do the heavier, handling work these days but I help out at the office to balance things out. I’m learning computer skills and getting to know clients at the same time.”

Her experience at the 3D Care office helped Elsie with the online registration application. 

Ronnie Wells, Registered Manager at 3D Care Cardiff, said: 

“We think it’s really important for our staff to register. It gives them credence. Being registered myself, I was familiar with the process and the benefits it can bring. 

“Elsie is an asset to the team, but I knew she wasn’t confident with computers. I also have a member of staff who wasn’t born in the UK so when Social Care Wales got in touch offering to help employers get staff registered, I jumped at the chance.

“Dean John came in and took the team through the process in a morning. It was very straight forward. We now have four workers registered and hopefully it won’t be long before all the team join. 

“We value our staff and the people we support. We take pride in training staff to high standards and want to show them our commitment by paying their registration fee to encourage them to register early.”

3D Care Cardiff was established in 2006 and employs around 30 staff. New recruits are given a taster day before they start their training to make sure they have the right values to work in the sector and want to do the work.

To join our Register, all applicants have to show they follow the standards of the Code of Professional Practice of Social Care (the Code) and show they are suitable to work (fit to practise). 

Elsie proves you’re never too old to care if you can show you are fit and able to do the work. 

She says: “It feels good to earn extra money to top-up my pension, but, the best thing about my job is meeting people. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing I can help and feeling needed. I like keeping busy, being at home all day would be boring.” 

Registration is part of our on-going commitment to professionalise the social care workforce and raise the status of workers. It will give people receiving care, and their families, the confidence workers have the skills and qualifications to do their job in a professional, compassionate manner. Find out more about domiciliary care worker registration .

Domiciliary care workers looking for practical guidance with day-to-day work can download the practice guidance for their role.