Those that work in the care industry are tasked with ensuring that they support vulnerable people in managing their daily activities and living as independently as they possibly can.
It can be an extremely rewarding industry to work in, as it provides care workers with the opportunity to improve people’s living standards and lifestyle on a daily basis. This means helping them overcome any difficulties they face, and empowering them to live independently by making their lives as comfortable as possible.
Those that are cared for can include people who may be disabled, unwell, have learning difficulties or the elderly – as well as other vulnerable individuals. This means that the job is incredibly varied, with different requirements and challenges faced each day.
What does a Home Care Worker do?
Home care is the process of helping people with their daily tasks in their own home, to ensure they can still live independently. This service allows people to live in their own home, with the assistance of a home care worker, to enable them to carry on with their life in as ‘normal’ way as possible. Home care isn’t just provided on an ongoing basis, as respite services allow families who are full-time carers themselves to take a break, while a care worker looks after their loved one.
A home care worker is tasked with the day to day duties that a vulnerable person cannot always complete. This involves helping clients with tasks such as; cleaning, washing, dressing, meal preparation and eating, laundry and assistance moving around the home. Care duties also extend to administrative duties such as; paying bills, assistance getting to appointments, healthcare services and leisure actives, home maintenance and running of the household, as well as other miscellaneous tasks.
The duties a home care worker perform are provided on a person-centred basis; therefore, what one person may require another will not, which means that the role is extremely varied in the work that is carried out. Assisting a service user to achieve their preferred outcomes is the care worker’s priority. This could be simply helping them to wash up or it could be regaining confidence to go out for a walk.
Alongside the physical support that a care worker provides, emotional support and company is also part of the role, ensuring that the individuals emotional and mental wellbeing are upheld. This involves getting to know clients and providing them with the companionship and support that they require each day.
Home care is a vital service which is provided to vulnerable people. However, it is often not the only service that they require. Therefore, you may also find that will be liaising with other support workers or health professionals who are involved with your client.
Do I need to possess particular skills?
To ensure that your career is a success and that home care is the position for you, it can certainly help to hold the following skills.
You should be able to relate to people of all demographics and backgrounds, as you will find that you are placed with people from varying walks of life, who each have their own experiences and way of doing things. Therefore, ensuring that you are able to adapt processes and get along with people no matter their background is a must. As you will spend a considerable amount of time with an individual as a home care worker, you’ll want to form a solid working relationship, which means relatability is key.
As individuals are often vulnerable, you will need to communicate tactfully and sensitively. This means you should possess excellent communicative skills, in which you are able to discuss often personal topics appropriately, ensuring that you are putting the needs of the care user first.
Home Care can be a pressurised job, especially since no two days will be the same. Therefore, you should be able to remain calm under pressure at all times, no matter the situation that you are faced with.
What entry requirements do I need?
Although there are no set entry requirements if you are looking to start a care role, it can help if you have some previous experience working in a care giving role. Whether this is professional experience, voluntary work or providing care on a personal level, having previous involvement within the industry can give your application a boost and prove that you have both the skills and attributes required to work in care.
However, there are some requirements which you will need to be subjected to if you are thinking of working in care.
For example, if you are working with children or vulnerable adults then you will need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service, also known as DBS, clearance. This essentially approves you to work with vulnerable people and is a government-approved document.
If you have no prior experience and you are new to adult social care, then a care certificate should be attained through a 12-week induction which your employer should provide. Similarly, if working in children’s residential care, then a level three diploma in residential childcare or equivalent is required.
What are the working hours?
If you are working full time, then you can expect to work between 35 to 40 hours per week, although part-time roles are also available.
As a home care service is provided to individuals depending on their needs, the care industry often operates around shifts. This could involve you working at set periods throughout the day, such as morning, afternoon, evening and weekends. In some instances, care workers can be required to live-in, stay overnight or work on a rota basis.
While working shifts can be demanding, it does provide workers with the opportunity to work to patterns which suit their personal lifestyle. For example, for some working on a weekend may suit them better, while working parents may choose to work a morning shift so that they can pick children up from school.
Home care is an extremely rewarding job role, allowing you to work in an industry which aids people to live as independently and safely as possible. If you are passionate about promoting an individual’s independence and want to ensure that they can continue to lead a happy and well-supported life in their own home, then home care could be the job for you.
Apply now to start your career in care!