Have you got the caring touch? Here’s what it’s like to work in home care
PUBLISHED: 14:31 29 July 2020
With the chance to make a difference to someone’s life while helping them live independently at home, being a carer is a rewarding and fulfilling career.
We speak to Nadine Johns from Home Instead about her experience of working in home care.
Q: Why did you want to work in home care?
I started working as a CAREGiver at the start of the pandemic after deciding I wanted to do something to make a difference. I didn’t have any professional care experience before joining Home Instead but I had helped care for my grandmother who has been poorly for the last couple of years.
My previous jobs weren’t particularly fulfilling and I was keen to get into a role where I could build relationships and really get to know the people I work with.
The beauty of home care is that elderly people get to remain in familiar surroundings and I think it’s a great alternative to living in a care home. I like the idea of enabling people to live as independently as possible and maintain their dignity in their own homes.
Q: What does a typical day as a CAREGiver involve?
Every day is varied as I work with people who have very different needs. In the morning I could be helping someone with personal care or dressing and then in the afternoon, I could be making lunch for another person, doing puzzles with them or going for a walk.
I also help provide more advanced care for people with limited mobility or dementia. A big part of the job is making sure people are safe and comfortable at home, but it’s equally important to provide companionship and conversation.
Q: What qualities do you think make a good CAREGiver?
You can learn the skills and knowledge needed to be a good CAREGiver, but what’s most important is that you are a kind and caring person who wants to help enhance and enrich someone’s life. Having patience is key, and you need to be able to think outside the box and be willing to progress your skill set too.
Q: What makes Home Instead a good place to work?
What appealed to me the most was that Home Instead do a minimum of one-hour visits and CAREGivers are carefully matched with clients, which means you can build a valuable relationship. The company have an excellent reputation for their services and what makes them really stand out as an employer is the level of communication – we’re given weekly updates and there’s always someone on hand to help if you have an issue or need extra support. I’ve never felt as supported in any other role I’ve had and knowing I’m doing a good job is key to becoming a better CAREGiver.
Q: Is there any career progression?
Another major benefit of working for Home Instead is the opportunities available. When you start as a CAREGiver you undergo an intensive training programme and there’s the chance to gain NVQs and other qualifications to progress your career. For example, I asked for extra dementia training to help me support my clients more effectively, and I was put on a specialist e-learning course straight away and offered the opportunity to undertake further training once restrictions have lifted.
Q: What’s your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part is going home and realising I’ve helped to make someone’s life a little bit better. Each day can throw you challenges but there’s always a funny story or something to make you smile to level it out. I enjoy learning each person’s different routines and once you’ve built up that trust, they start to share some lovely memories and stories with you.
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