Carers move into Scottish care home to support ‘second families’ leaving their own children at home

A pair of dedicated carers have moved into a care home where they work to look after their 'second families' - leaving their own children at home.

A pair of dedicated carers have moved into a care home where they work to look after their 'second families' - leaving their own children at home.

Kirsty Austin, 36, and Michelle Dickson, 47, have been living at Buckreddan Care Centre in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, for close to five weeks so that they can be there 24/7.

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Gran-of-one Michelle moved in on March 26, and Kirsty, who has two children and has worked at the care home since the age of 16, moved in the following day.

(L-R) Kirsty Austin, 36, and fellow care home staff member Michelle Dickson, 47

Despite coronavirus devastating other care homes, Buckreddan Care Centre has so far had no cases.

Other care home staff and nurses have also been doing everything they can to make sure residents are comfortable and keep their morale high during the coronavirus lockdown.

Kirsty's husband Graham is looking after their children Abbie, 14, and Aaron, 11, after the couple had a frank discussion about the risks.

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The couple agreed Kirsty should be with her 'second family' - where she is needed the most.

Kirsty said: "The residents and the care staff, I see them more than my own actual family.

"They are my second family."

On her days off Kirsty continues to work at the home as a volunteer and helps residents keep in touch with their loved ones.

With families unable to visit their relatives, staff have been doing more activities and making use of technology to keep communication going.

Kirsty said: "Just before the lockdown, I had a conversation with Graham.

"My kids were safe, he was safe, I felt I had to go where I was needed most."

Graham added: "They deserve recognition.

"I'm very proud.

"I asked her what's going to happen on her days off and she said she'll volunteer.

"She's been putting on her civvy clothes and going about the residents doing video calls with their families."

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