From Midwife to Care Home Manager: A Journey of Compassion

To celebrate this year’s International Day of the Midwife, Jan Daly, the Registered Care Home Manager at Redcot, the residential care home in Haslemere, Surrey run by the charity, Friends of the Elderly, has been sharing her own ‘Midwife to Carer’ journey.

Jan said:

“From a very young age, I knew I wanted to work in the Care Sector, either as a Nurse, Midwife or Carer. I just felt this deep need to help people. I grew up in a nursing environment, as my Mum was a Nurse at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. When I was about five years old, I had my very own Nurses uniform and Doctor’s bag and I used to love listening to my Mum’s stories about what she’d been doing at the hospital each day.

“My choice of career path never left me. After finishing school I went to Guildford College to begin my Nursing journey. Then, when I was able, I decided to specialise in Midwifery and worked hard to become a Registered Midwife. After qualifying, I worked at The Royal Surrey County Hospital and happily worked there, delivering many beautiful, bouncing babies for many years. After having my own family, I returned to work in care and nearly five years ago, I joined Friends of the Elderly as the Registered Care Home Manager at Redcot.”

During her career as a Midwife, Jan delivered many healthy bouncing babies. Jan added:

“It’s true what they say that it’s a small world as it turns out that I delivered one of my Team’s sisters many years ago.”

Friends of the Elderly has 12 Registered Nurses and Midwives working within its care homes and daycare services, all of whom have a steadfast and untiring commitment and devotion to making a difference in older people’s daily lives.

Jan continued:

“At Redcot, one of our Activities Coordinators – Ann Essam – was also a Midwife in her previous career. Ann worked as a Midwife for three years and then became a District Midwife, a role she stayed in for 14 years. Then, due to family circumstances, Ann moved to Liphook in Surrey and took a role as a Midwife at The Royal Surrey Hospital, where she stayed for 20 years.

“Ann tried retirement, but that didn’t last for long. After working as a Midwife for so many years, Ann tells me that she just couldn’t take to being retired, it was too boring. So, after working at Bernard Sunley, our Woking-based residential, nursing and dementia care home as an Activities Coordinator for a number of years, we were very lucky and grateful that Ann moved to Redcot and took on the role here. She’s always joking that she thinks the residents relate to her so well as she’s not too much younger than them.

“I love working at Redcot. I have an amazing and caring team who are devoted to our residents, making sure that they are happy, safe, engaged and motivated every day. Our residents are wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with them, whether we are taking part in one of our many wide and varied activities or simply sitting down with a cup of tea and having a chat. Their life stories are fascinating and some of the tales they tell me are absolutely hilarious. I wouldn’t change what I do for all the tea in China.”