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What are the key duties and responsibilities of a care assistant?

Care assistants support individuals in various situations, including those needing help with daily activities due to age, illness, or disability. Their duties can be carried out in settings such as the individual’s home, a medical environment like a hospital, or residential or care homes.

The main duties of a care assistant may vary depending on the needs of the individuals they’re supporting. However, a carer’s primary goal is to enhance the quality of life of their clients and help them with their daily needs. Here are some key responsibilities that will be common across many carer roles.

Individuals who need personal care typically require help with activities such as washing and bathing, dressing, hair care and grooming, toilet care, and continence care

Some of the personal care provided may require physical support, too. Care assistant duties can include helping an individual change position if they are sedentary for long periods of time and transferring in and out of a bed, wheelchair, or seat. There is equipment in place to move clients so no lifting is required. Your health and safety is our priority.

Assisting an individual with mealtimes often involves planning and preparation. They may need support with ensuring they’re getting the proper levels of nutrition and hydration, as well as help preparing meals according to dietary needs, maintaining food hygiene and assisting with eating if required.

Offering medication support can involve ensuring an individual remembers to take the correct medication on time, helping administer it, and liaising with pharmacies and GPs to ensure the proper medication is prescribed and dispensed.

The home environment can significantly impact physical and mental well-being. That’s why carers often assist with tasks around the house. These include light cleaning tasks, laundry, and maintaining a clean and healthy home.

Older adults are particularly susceptible to feeling lonely and socially isolated. This can have a knock-on effect on their quality of life and well-being. Companionship care is another core responsibility for care assistants. It may involve popping in for a cup of tea and a chat or helping an individual get out of the house and attend appointments or activities.

Care assistants see the individual they’re caring for frequently. They may be the most regular contact that an older adult has. Because of this, monitoring the health and well-being of the person in their care is crucial. Observing and reporting changes to clients’ health and well-being to other healthcare professionals or family members is another key part of a care assistant’s role.

If you’re interested in working in care, you can find more information in our guide that covers everything you need to know about a career in care or our article ‘Why work in care’. Equally, if you’re ready for your next care role, explore our vacancies on our ‘carer jobs’ page.