Being a Care Assistant

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people across the UK venture out at all times and in all weathers to provide critical home care support to vulnerable elderly and disabled people living in their own homes. But, what does a care assistant really do?

Supporting people everywhere

People in every neighbourhood, in every city, town and village, need home care.  No matter the location you choose to work, there will be people that need reliable, compassionate care assistants. In rural areas, there might be a lot of travel involved and having the use of your own vehicle will be essential. In towns and cities, you may work only in a compact local area in which you are able to walk between your care visits.

Wherever you choose to work, you’ll have first-class, community-based supervisors on hand to support you.

What care work really involves

Care assistants help people with all sorts of practical tasks such as shopping, housework, laundry and helping with paperwork and personal affairs. In most cases, though, the help that care assistants provide includes supporting people with their personal care needs.

Personal care is intimate support that might include helping a person to wash or dress, to use the toilet or to prepare meals. It could also involve helping people to take medicines or manage incontinence.

We make no bones about it – personal care can be messy so if you think you couldn’t handle nudity or having to deal with bodily fluids and the mess that they can cause, you probably aren’t cut out to do care work.

However, remember that there was a first time that every care assistant had to help someone change a soiled pad or wipe their bottom and take it from us, it’s something you get used to very quickly.

Working with people who are unwell can also mean that eventually, most care assistants will also have to deal with people that are dying, or might even arrive at someone’s home to find that they have died.  This is sad at best and traumatic at worst but the companies we work with will always make sure both that you are prepared to cope with the death of a customer when it happens and that you get the support you need afterwards to process and move on from the experience.

Even customers who are quite well might live in conditions that are not those you might expect in your own home. Care assistants may well find that they have to work in homes that are messy or not particularly clean and whilst they may be able to help people to improve their living standards (by, for example, helping with cleaning), they also sometimes have to accept that some people ‘just live like that’!

The most rewarding work

Why have we told you this? Well, it’s important that we don’t pretend that care work isn’t sometimes messy, upsetting and tiring – it is. But, it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can do.

As a care assistant, you have a unique opportunity to bring a ray of sunshine into the life of someone that may be isolated and lonely or in pain or distress. You can bring peace of mind to family carers that, as much as they would like to, can’t always be there with their beloved mum, dad or grandparent. You can bring hope and inspiration or even just company, kind words and a cup of tea. And at the end of hard day, you will sleep well knowing that you have made a real difference. That’s not a job – it’s a vocation.

Ready to look for great opportunities in your area?  Start your search for care assistant vacancies.