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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A CAREER IN CARE

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Career in Home Care - Comfort Care at Home

A career in care can be incredibly rewarding. Not only are you doing valuable work supporting individuals to maintain their independence, but you’re also working in a relatively stable sector that can offer plenty of career progression.

With that in mind, let’s delve into all the essential aspects of a career in care. In this article, we’ll look at the typical responsibilities of a care role, whether you need any qualifications or prior experience, the pros and cons of care work, and more.

Typical responsibilities of care work

A carer’s day-to-day tasks and responsibilities will differ depending on the needs of the individual you’re caring for and what setting they’re in (such as their own home, a care home, etc.). However, common responsibilities of most positions include the following:

  • Personal care: Assisting with daily hygiene activities, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, and oral hygiene.
  • Mobility assistance: Helping individuals safely transfer to and from beds, chairs, etc. You may also be required to assist them with mobility aids, such as zimmer frames or wheelchairs, and help them to get out and about
  • Medication assistance: Helping individuals take their medication appropriately and on time. Liaising with GPs and pharmacies to ensure that the correct medication is prescribed, dispensed and reordered as required.
  • Monitoring health and well-being: Observing and reporting changes in an individual’s health or behaviour to family members or healthcare professionals. You may also be required to maintain accurate records of care provided, including documentation of tasks completed, observations made, and any concerns or incidents reported.
  • Nutrition and hydration support: Planning and preparing nutritious meals according to dietary requirements, religious needs, medical requirements, etc. Ensuring that individuals consume the proper hydration levels and assisting them with eating and drinking if needed.
  • Home help support: Assisting with domestic chores and light housekeeping tasks, such as tidying up living spaces, doing laundry, changing bedding and cleaning dishes.
  • Companionship care: Providing emotional support and companionship to individuals who may be at risk of loneliness and social isolation. This may include popping in to see them, having a cup of tea and a chat, accompanying them on outings, or assisting them in attending social events, etc.
  • Rehabilitation care: Supporting individuals with recovery and rehabilitation from surgery, injury or illness. This will likely encompass both physical and emotional support for the individual. Rehabilitation support must work alongside healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, district nurses, and GPs.

Ultimately, the role of a care assistant is to provide compassionate care to an individual. Your work will aim to maintain as much of their independence as possible and support their physical, emotional, and social well-being needs.

Emotional and Physical Requirements

Working in care can be a highly fulfilling career path. However, the industry also has challenging aspects.

Although supporting an older individual’s quality of life can be rewarding, it can also be emotionally challenging. This is especially true if the person you’re caring for has a decline in their mental or physical health.

Care work can also be physically challenging. You may spend long hours on your feet, helping with domestic chores and even moving the person you’re caring for with mobility equipment.

Proper training and a supportive team are vital to navigating the more challenging aspects of care work. You can read more about the advantages of working in care in our guide “Why work in care?

Qualifications, training and experience

There are no formal qualifications or experience required for getting into care.

These are the typical routes into care work:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

The National Careers Service has more information on the types of courses and entry requirements that you can consider.

If the studying route into care isn’t right for you, don’t let that put you off! Many positions will consider you if you have the right personal qualities. For example, here at Comfort Care At Home, we hire based on values. If you’re compassionate, caring, trustworthy, and reliable, we can teach you the rest.

See our carer jobs page for more information about how you can start your career in care with us.

Salary and hours

A typical carer’s salary can range from £23,000 for someone just starting to £30,000 for a more experienced role . Working weeks can range from 35-40 hours for full-time positions, and there may be evening and weekend shifts required.

We pay our care assistants up to £18 per hour (including paid travel time and mileage). We offer flexible hours (between 8 and 35 hours, depending on your availability).

Job stability career progression

The care industry is a relatively stable sector in which to work. As a society, we’re living longer, and the need for healthcare services to help support the quality of life for an ageing population won’t decrease anytime soon.

Career progression

Whether you want to specialise in an area such as palliative care, get into management and leadership, or even be involved in education and training, there are plenty of opportunities to progress in the care profession.

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