Hello, I’m Gill Pharaoh, welcome to my website which is about my two books; How to Manage Family Illness at Home and Careers in Caring.
How to Manage Family Illness at Home aims to help families, nurses and carers alike. It came about after working in Palliative Care for several years, as well as working as a general nurse in hospitals, a district nurse and then a specialist nurse in the community.
The hospice in which I was based offered night cover for their patients, a rare service at that time. So working on call every third night for 7 years meant I was often there throughout an illness and was even able to be with the family when someone died. The experience taught me so much about myself and was very different from my experience in hospital and as a community nurse generally.
I realised that although we say everyone has a right to be at home throughout an illness, we have no experience of our own to support them through it. Even experienced nurses, were often, initially, quite apprehensive about what they could do to help in their long shifts.
I was constantly being told by families and carers:
“Why didn’t someone tell me about this?”
” No one ever explained why I needed to…”
“I wish I had known this before.”
“I wish we had thought this out before we decided on …”
I very often found myself thinking that someone should write about some practical issues one day and eventually I did so myself.
I wrote Careers in Caring to encourage people to think of working as a carer when I became irritated by the recent publicity which is building the public image of carers. I have worked with carers throughout my nursing career and the majority were very good indeed. Most of the poor carers suffered simply from a lack of training and consequently a lack of confidence.
Working as a carer in the homes of sick and frail people can be a very rewarding and interesting career. However, it can be daunting, at first, to imagine doing very personal hands on care for a stranger, especially one of opposite sex, and it takes a little while to feel confident and comfortable doing it. I would like to think that my book gives a start for someone who is apprehensive about this kind of work.