Penicuik care home workers from same family say they've 'never looked back' after turning to care jobs later in life

Three family members who work together in the same care home said they have ‘never looked back’ after they all turned to working in care jobs later in life.

Katrina Early, her brother-in-law Archie Kerr and Margaret Bourhill, who is married to Katrina’s cousin, all work at Aaron House in Penicuik.

Archie said they would never have guessed they would be working in the care sector, let alone together at the same home.

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He took on a job as kitchen assistant at the 65-bed home after he was made redundant from a printing job he had worked in for 23 years.

Margaret, Archie and Katrina all work at Aaron House in Penicuik

And he expected it to be temporary while he looked for other positions. But he liked the new job so much he hasn’t looked back.

Archie said: “I never thought I would have moved into a care role in my later life but I love it. I was nervous at first about the one-to-ones with the residents. Now I love a good chat with them.

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“This care home is definitely not doom and gloom. It’s a happy place and the residents have some good banter. I like the company. We talk about music, we talk about the old days and their families.

“I think being older has helped me gel with them. That said, the younger staff here are brilliant with the residents too. We’re a good team. I would definitely recommend care work to other people looking for a change.”

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Katrina was inspired to get into care work after looking after her own mum and dad for four years while they lived with dementia.

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After over 30 years working in offices she joined the home eight years ago and started as a carer. Now she’s the home’s business administrator. She said her job is still about caring for people.

“I love that care is at the heart of my role. I’ve been through the process of moving loved ones into a care home myself, so I can empathise with family members. It’s nice for them to know I’ve been in their shoes, and I understand.

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“I’m not just the office person. Residents think of the staff as their family and I would always think of them like my grandparents. We look after our residents as we would want our own mums and dads to be looked after.”

Grandmother of 10 Margaret is the home’s receptionist. She plans to work as long as she can and says it keeps her young at heart.

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“My favourite thing is having visitors back and having the school children come over from Morris Wood Primary School and Nursery. You should see the residents’ faces when they visit, it’s amazing.

“I might be in a phased retirement but I’m going to keep this job on as long as possible because I enjoy it, it keeps me young.

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General manager, Stephen Van Putten, said: “We have staff of all ages, which adds so much value to our home. It is a very rewarding sector and the roles within a care home are so varied. As Margaret, Katrina and Archie have shown, you don’t need to be a qualified carer to work here. If you have kindness and compassion, we can teach you the rest and there’s great job security in care.”