Our Community Carers provide care to older adults who require extra support in their own homes. But what sort of care is actually involved in this role?
We want to help you understand exactly what a Community Carers role is like so you can decide whether this is the career for you. Even though every day is different Adam, a Community Carer from our branch in York explains what is involved in the role of Community Carers from his own personal experiences.
What are the responsibilities of a Community Carer?
It is usually an early start to the day on a morning visit as the carer would arrive at a customer’s home to help them out of bed and help prepare them for the day ahead. This may include lifting, transferring or repositioning the customer while using the appropriate apparatus to do so. The safety of a customer is priority and it is vital that the carer continually observes, monitors and documents the customer’s physical and emotional well-being so any changes can be reported to senior colleagues.
A morning visit is a chance to bring positivity to the start of someone else’s day. For many older people family cannot be there every morning to offer this support needed, some families live to far away and sadly some customers have no family at all. A carer may be the first person the customer will see. Understandably, getting out of bed, showering, preparing and eating breakfast can be very difficult for older adults and somewhat impossible without support. A morning routine really helps people build up their confidence and creates a positive attitude for their day ahead as care is provided with dignity and kindness. A chat and a cup of tea with a friendly face first thing in the morning can often be the highlight of someone’s day and reduce the feelings of loneliness many older adults experience.
When arriving with the next customer, the carer may continue their day by helping a customer with light housekeeping tasks, such as vacuuming and changing bed linens. Tasks that are simply too difficult for the customer to complete themselves and if left uncompleted can cause hazards or further health problems. It can be very daunting to do simple tasks around the house for those who have little mobility and health problems and a key role of a carer is empowering the customer to be as independent as possible, encouraging the customer do complete the tasks they can themselves. A major highlight of the role is seeing a customer go from strength to strength because of the help that has been provided from the carer.
On a visit in the afternoon the carer may assist another customer with lunch, making sure the customer is getting a nutritious meal while being there to support with any other needs that the customer has. It is another chance for the customer to socialise with the carer and for the carer to provide companionship.
Another afternoon visit can be assisting a customer with a weekly shop, joining the customer out for a short walk or taking part in activities held out in the community. In older people the desire to leave the house can often be overruled by lack of confidence so a carer is there to help the customer feel more confident and safe. It’s an opportunity to really make a huge difference not only to someone’s day but to their life.
Care work in the evening may involve assisting the customer with their dinner and checking in with any other problems the customer has that you can help with. The customer may also need help with applying medicated creams or need reminding to take required medication. Care provided in the evening can also be to make sure the customer is comfortable and settled for the night.
What are your working hours and your working environment like?
I work full time and usually work around 37- 50 hours a week and due to the nature of the role the working hours are shift patterns. I am based out in the community so I travel from customer to customer as care is provided in their own homes. At our York branch we have a 2 week shift pattern so this allows me to know which shifts I am doing and can plan my own time around my rota. This also means that we only work weekends every other week. This shift pattern works really well in our community.
How did you get into the social care industry and why?
I truly believe that care chose me. I was first introduced to care because I cared for my mum and from then I just new a career in care was for me. I have worked in adult social care for 12 years now!
What makes the role rewarding and what are the challenges?
Knowing you are making a difference to people’s life on a daily basis is rewarding. My personal highlight is when we start caring for someone new that has little mobility and lacks confidence and with the support from my colleagues and I the individual becomes much more independent, confident and you can see that their quality of life has increased dramatically. I also have a great supportive network with other Community Carers and colleagues- they are a great team to work with! I would say that the hours can be challenging but the role is worth this challenge, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their career in the social care industry?
If you are caring, kind and patient you may be the perfect person for the industry. Also personal care can be a big part of the role and this must be provided with absolute dignity and respect.
We have some fantastic opportunities to be part of a great supportive team at our organisation. You can apply for the role of a carer here.
Got an unanswered question? Send us a message on Facebook @HumanSupportGroupHSG or tweet us at @Humansupport a member of our experienced team will be happy to answer your questions.