Joe De Souza cared for his wife, Melita, who died in October 2015. He has now been trained as a coach, as part of our Coach4Care programme, whereby former carers use their experience to support others currently caring for their loved ones.
“Getting involved with the programme has been a powerful way for me to use my experience as a carer in a positive way. It means that my sad journey has not been lost. Nothing can ever replace what you have had but Coach4Care has helped ease my pain and given me a fresh start. This is the blessing of the programme.
As a carer you’re so wrapped up with trying to keep your loved one comfortable. You are lost in a world of care, fear and trauma. When I was caring for my beloved wife there was no such compassionate coaching facilities available.
I can help carers understand their journey. I have the experience and know a lot about how to care
In training we first find out what coaching means. Coaching brings about change through inquiry, reflection, choice and new behaviours. The Coach4Care programme uses the ‘Double Diamond Coaching Model’ which is a new coaching tool created with the help of coaches and carers, for carers. It’s about asking questions, listening and exploring what a person is going through. The skill is in listening with empathy. It’s not about advising or counselling.
I can help carers understand their journey. I have the experience and know a lot about how to care. Recently I met with a carer at the hospice and could see from his body language that he was unhappy with how he was handling his caring responsibilities. I said ‘stop, let’s just see what you have achieved here, and what impact this has had on your loved one, siblings and your children’. He kept quiet and then I saw a tear running down his cheek. In that moment he could understand the difference he had made.
I believe Coach4Care is one of the most powerful programmes available. It’s been life changing for me and everyone involved with the programme. It should be rolled out across the country.
If anyone is thinking about becoming a coach with Coach4Care, I would say do it! definitely do it!”