Star Carer For April – Rita Guanaria

"I'm not good with technology so I say to try it out on me to see how easy it is. If I can do it anyone can do it."
Merina Martin
30th May 2024

It’s been another great month for nominations for our star carer award. The winner for April is Rita Guanaria from Choices Homecare (also known as Optimo), Barnsley. She was nominated by Registered Manager, Emma Stacy who gets fantastic feedback from her clients. Join us in celebrating yet another dedicated healthcare professional who has been in the profession for the past eighteen years.

This is what Emma said about Rita in her nomination:

“Rita goes above and beyond for all her service users, I have just received some feedback from a number of the service users Rita goes to and all of them praise her. For instance one of the lady’s she visits was struggling to get a GP appointment and they kept telling her to call back. Rita knew how much this lady was worrying and called the GP surgery and got the lady an appointment the next day. This found the early stages of cancer for this lady and she wrote to us and said she owes her life to Rita. There is so much good feedback for Rita and I feel that she deserves to be recognised for the amazing care worker she is.”

What was your reaction to winning CareLineLive’ s Star Carer award?

I’ve never won anything before and I was absolutely shocked and didn’t know anything about being nominated. I don’t really think that I did or do anything special, that’s why I was so shocked. I felt that this lady really needed an urgent doctors appointment because her symptoms had been going on for a long time. It’s so horrible trying to get appointments and to get past the receptionist and the client had tried but failed. This lady is not old and she really needed help as she’s had cancer in the past and was thinking about giving up trying to get an appointment. I had to be very firm to get help for this lady and she’s actually in hospital at the moment.

What aspects of being a carer do you enjoy?

I’ve had lots of different jobs from shop work to pub work and when I was made redundant it was suggested that I should try to be a carer. My mum had always been a carer and I thought ‘Oh no, I can’t do that’ and really thought that it wasn’t for me, but at the time it fitted around my children, and here I am, eighteen years later. I get quite attached to the clients and so I don’t think about doing anything else.

How does CareLineLive’s Carer Companion app help in your job?

When I first found out that we were going to use technology I thought ‘here we go!’ I don’t do social media like Facebook  or computers really, so it was daunting. My children are good but I only do phone calls or texting. I wasn’t too happy, but its been easier as we’ve gone along and with the recent changes especially with the new colour coding and the app improvements, it’s brilliant! In fact I help the other carers with the app. I always say that I’m not good with technology so try it out on me to see how easy it is. If I can do it anyone can do it.

What are the challenges in your job?

I work four days per week doing breakfast, dinner and teas which suits me now. Being on a zero hours contract can be financially challenging especially, like now when some of my clients are in respite or are in hospital. It’s been a challenge since day one. I say to anyone coming into care that it’s not guaranteed wages, that’s just how it is, you don’t come into caring for the money.

How do you switch off after a hard day at work?

I like to have a shower, a cup of tea and to put the TV on and watch the soaps. I also like Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm and anything historical like Catherine Cookson and Downton Abbey. I’ve never really liked detective programmes but I’m really enjoying Vera!

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