Photo Courtesy: Marcel GÃ¤ding
Working as a home carer is a growth area and jobs are usually plentiful, which makes it a good choice of career, particularly if you enjoy working with people and looking after a person’s needs. If this is something you might be interested in, then read on to see if you have what it takes to become a home carer.
What is a home carer?
A home carer supports the needs of a wide range of people who need assistance for a number of reasons. This could be because a person is getting old and struggles with some tasks, or it could be that a person has a disability, illness or impairment.Â Anyone who requires supported living will need the services of a home carer.
A home worker might spend all of their time working with one person or with several people over a period of hours, depending on their circumstances. The home carer works in the person’s home, but they might also be employed in residential care homes, respite homes or in a hospice.Â They might be employed directly by the person or their family, or through an agency.
What does a home carer do?
The tasks that a home carer will do often depend on the individual circumstances of the person they are caring for, and what their needs are. In some instances, they might help with washing and dressing the person, cleaning the house and making sure the person is supported with their daily needs. In other cases, they could help do the shopping for a person, fetch medications and make routine health appointments for them.Â The home carer may also be required to do very basic medical tasks, such as assisting with medications or required injections.
What is certain is that a home carer’s job is pretty varied, and the carer needs to have a flexible approach and attitude to meet the needs of the person they are looking after.
What qualities and skills are required to do this job?
No matter what tasks a home carer does, they need to have a caring, sympathetic, friendly and helpful manner. It may be hard for the person they are caring for to do simple tasks, or it might take them a lot longer, so the home carer needs to be patient and supportive. You need to like variety, have a hands-on mentality and not mind helping out with whatever needs doing.
What qualifications are required?
To become a home carer, you don’t need any formal qualifications. However, you are likely to need a CRB check. Once in the job, you’ll receive on-the-job training and may get the chance to work towards a relevant qualification, such as in health and social care. You may also attend courses such as first aid, manual handling and hygiene. There may be opportunities to progress within the field of healthcare, if you take further training and qualifications.
What are the plus points about being a home carer?
If you’re passionate about making a difference to a person’s life then you could well find being a home carer a rewarding and fulfilling choice of career. For anyone who likes flexibility and variety, working as a home carer is ideal.
There are also lots of vacancies in this area of work, and you don’t need an army of qualifications or training to enter it.
What are the drawbacks to being a home carer?
As with any job, it’s worth considering the negative points to it before deciding if it’s right for you or not. Working as a home carer can be hard work in some cases if you have to help lift or move people; it can be physically demanding. Some home care work demands that you work shifts, irregular hours and even during the night, depending on the individual you’re caring for. As well as long hours, you’ll probably get around the minimum wage mark, but you may be able to get a higher salary with more training and experience.
At James’ last job, he worked with a colleague who suffered with a disability. James’ colleague sourced help from the specialists at Voyage Care.