Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 104
care from qualiﬁed nursing staﬀ,
who are on site 24 hours a day. Some
homes oﬀer specialist support for
people with speciﬁc health problems,
such as physical disabilities, mental
health problems or dementia.
Some care home provide a mix
of diﬀerent care. There may be a
certain number of places for residents
requiring personal care, for those
needing nursing care and for those
with dementia, for example.
Care homes may be run by private
businesses, non-proﬁt organisations
such as charities and housing
associations, or local authorities
(which mostly run residential homes
rather than nursing homes). Many
local authorities outsource care to
non-proﬁt organisations - only
about 10% of care home places are
provided directly by local authorities.
A good way to ﬁnd out if working
in care is for you is to volunteer in
your spare time. This will also give
you valuable experience. Contact a
local care provider and oﬀer your
services. Personal experience of caring
for a relative can also demonstrate
your experience and commitment.
Your ﬁrst position is likely to be a
as a healthcare assistant, where your
general responsibilities may include
providing emotional and practical
support for older people. This could
be in a care home, day centre or for a
care provider, visiting people's homes.
If you're making home visits,
duties will vary according to the
client. Building up a relationship
and getting to know their likes and
dislikes is crucial. You'll usually be
responsible for some personal care,
light housework, preparing or serving
meals, helping with general household
upkeep, and chatting and ensuring
they feel valued and listened to.
If you're working in a care home, your
duties may include helping guests with
personal care, feeding them their meals
and ensuring they're comfortable.
Hours can be ﬂexible, and there
are a lot of part-time positions
available, which means you can work
when best suits you. You'll usually
DO I NEED?
Empathy and the ability to relate to a
range of clients and professionals
Strong communication skills,
especially good listening skills
The ability to write clear and
A willingness to learn about company
policies and guidelines, and apply
them to different situations
An ability to react quickly and remain
calm and logical, even in a crisis
A non-judgemental, tolerant attitude
Kindness in spades - even if it isn't
Patience, even in the face of adversity
work on a rota that may include
evening and weekend shifts.
If you're able to prove your
commitment and competence, you
can usually get free training and
work towards senior and managerial
roles. You could go on to become a
social worker, care coordinator, care
home manager or advice worker.
You can earn £6-£12 per hour as a
care assistant, rising signiﬁcantly
for managerial positions.
NO BARRIERS TO ENTRY
A career in care doesn't discriminate
on age, qualiﬁcations or background.
Although it's useful to have experience
in a caring role, it isn't vital. Generally
speaking, companies are looking for
the right people with a caring nature
and a practical, hands-on approach.
Care work can also be a great
option if you're looking to change
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