What are Home Care Jobs?
So home care or also know as domiciliary care simply means social care in somebody’s home! Home care is about getting to know people, understanding what support they need, and doing whatever you can to help them stay independent (or what’s dictated in their care plan), comfortable and cared for – and yep, there is a lot of chatting involved!
This matters so much; a lot of people who need home care support might not be able to get out and about on their own. Your regular visits not only help with general daily tasks but also can be a lifeline to assisting people in feeling confidant and connected.
Types of work in home care
As you’d expect, home care jobs offer a varied role – one of the most essential skills is being happy to work hard, and turn your hand to whatever is needed! This can include:
- Household tasks like laundry, cleaning and cooking
- Personal care support with things like washing
- Medication and updating care plans
- Getting out – for walks, appointments, family visits and sometimes just for a nice cup of tea!
What skills do I need for a career in home care?
Working in home care jobs, each day might be very different from the last. Social care work in people’s homes is personal, and the conditions or challenges each person is living with will be different.
This means that the critical skills you need to be a great home care worker are:
- Listening: don’t underestimate the power of company and a good natter!
- Adaptability: being able to respond to need and provide practical solutions.
- Compassion: understanding how conditions such as dementia might make it hard for people living alone to manage, and how this might affect their mood and health each day.
- Kindness: more than anything, home care workers are people who care about others, making their lives happier, and maintaining their quality of life.
Is a home care worker a nurse?
No, a social care home worker is not a nurse and is never expected to administer medications unless you’ve had the right training, so you know how to do so! Most domicillary care companies offer lots of training, so you will need recent training and experience to be able to cover last minute shifts for them via OUTT.
Many people with home care support will be on some kind of medication routine. Your role is to help them remember to take their medications, and perhaps help with getting a glass of water, making sure they haven’t missed a day, and checking that they are taking the right doses.
A home care worker isn’t expected to provide nursing care, and if a situation ever crops up where you think somebody would benefit from medical help, you can pass that onto your manager to arrange.
Some home care workers also opt to receive additional training to add more skills to their portfolio and to be able to help people in a broader range of ways!
What is it like being a home care worker?
Home care can be tremendously rewarding; most home care staff get to know their clients well and enjoy spending time with them and helping them live the best quality of life.
The setting is in a person’s home, but how this is managed will depend on your work scenario:
- You might have a central office or team who you report to
- You could have a manager in charge of the area
- Your work could be in private homes in a dedicated housing complex
Do I need to travel to be a home care worker?
Probably yes – unless you are fortunate enough to work at residences on the same street! Most employers will expect you to be able to drive, unless you are in central London perhaps.
How many people you care for depends on lots of different factors; you might have one or two people you visit on alternate days, you might drop in on several people each day, or you might have one person you look after full time.
Who would I work for as a domiciliary carer?
Home care is mostly provided by private organisations, so you can pursue a career in this field in many ways.
- Shift work can mean working irregular hours sometimes, but allows you the freedom to coordinate your working days around other commitments – there’s always a bit of juggling involved!
- Some home care work might offer live in opportunities, early shifts or evening shifts – if you decide to work evening shifts often this helps families and childcare situations.
- As a full-time home care worker, you might have a set work pattern, or might liaise with your manager each month to work out a rota.
You’ll find that home care workers and providers all work to the standards of domiciliary care, and that the support provided is overseen by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
This means that you have the assurance of working with a professional team and providing outstanding service to help people live their best lives.