Being a Care Worker
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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 worker really do?
Supporting people everywhere
People in every neighbourhood, in every city, town and village, need home care. Wherever you choose to work, there will be people that need reliable, compassionate care workers. In rural areas there might be a lot of travel involved (and having the use of your own vehicle will be essential), whilst 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 in your work.
What care work really involves
Care workers 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 workers 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 worker 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 workers 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 service user when it happens and that you get the support you need afterwards to process and move on from the experience.
Even service users who are quite well might live in conditions that are not those you might expect in your own home. Care workers 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’!