Managing a care home is like conducting a symphony; it’s about keeping all areas playing the same tune in harmony. As a manager, if you focus on one instrument for too long the others start to go out of tune.
With, say, 50 residents (and their families) and 75 staff, there’s also the central office support team, senior managers, regulators (Care Quality Commission, Health & Safety Executive, environmental health officers), GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, tissue viability nurses, social workers, community dentists, dieticians, diabetic nurses, psychologists, visiting hairdressers, chiropodists, opticians, entertainers, visitors from the local community, volunteers, commissioners, contractors, banks, suppliers, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and Molly the pat dog! I am something different to everyone and everyone wants something different from me.
Older people are no different to the young. They feel just the same as they did when they had youthful bodies but have the benefit of experience. The home is a representation of any community and has all the variables that encompasses. A manager needs to be a chameleon of sorts to engage in all situations with all people.
So now that I’ve likened myself to a maestro and a reptile, I will tell you why I love my job. I love it for the same reasons I find it a challenge at times. I love people, especially older people, and people are complex. To make today just a bit happier than yesterday, to make someone feel special for just a moment is immensely satisfying. With a dedicated team, we make beautiful music and not one instrument outshines another, nor can they make the same sound alone.
UPDATE: To read about the importance of celebrating fantastic managers, please click here.