Myth busting the role of the CAREGiver

We want to help people understand what CAREGiving entails and to encourage people to think about a career in care. According to Skills for Care, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England, there are approximately 90,000 vacancies in the social care sector at any given time.

Here are the top 5 myths surrounding CAREGiving:

Myth 1: CAREGiving consists only of routine tasks.

Many people believe that CAREGivers only have about 15 minutes for each care visit and they mostly provide tasked based care such getting someone up or putting them to bed and making meals.

But CAREGivers do so much more than that! They provide a large amount of social and emotional support which can be as impactful on their client’s wellbeing as those performing physical activities. At Home Instead each visit lasts for a minimum of one hour which gives our CAREGivers time to chat and interact with their clients.

Myth 2: Care workers are unskilled.

CAREGivers are among some of the most skilled healthcare workers in the sector. Carers will always have opportunities to increase their skills or specialise in certain areas, and the sector is constantly changing and growing to meet the needs of the ageing population.   There are over 50 qualifications at different levels in social care, so it is important to speak to your employer about learning and developing new skills.

At Home Instead all our CAREGivers work towards their Care Certificate and then have access to lots of further training.

Myth 3: Being cared for in your home is only for the very ill.

Many elderly people want to live at home for as long as possible, but might require a little bit of extra help around the house. In these instances, non-medical home care, including personal care and companionship services can be provided by professional CAREGivers.

Non-medical home care often revolves around daily living activities, such as eating, dressing and bathing and CAREGivers might also help with driving, shopping and doing housework. Companionship care is also vital to those living on their own as it helps prevent loneliness and isolation. Having a chat over a cup of tea and helping people get out and about is the type of quality time that elderly people most often need.

Myth 4: All CAREGiving services are the same.

The saying “buyer beware” is very true when looking for the right home care company. Whether you are a family member, looking for care for a loved one, or you are looking for a job in the care sector, it is important to remember that not all care companies are the same.

There are many options in today’s market for seniors and their families, and it is recommended for anyone looking for care to do plenty of research and ask a lot of questions.

Myth 5: Most CAREGivers are middle-aged women.

Traditionally, this myth might be true, but in today’s society CAREGivers are a more diverse group than many people realise. Many CAREGivers are men, and additionally, many CAREGivers are of the millennial generation, between the ages of 18 and 30. Even children are providing care for loved ones. And not all CAREGivers are family members; these days, friends are increasingly likely to step in.

There are many more myths about the role of a CAREGiver, but we hope that this article has helped shine a light on CAREGiving as a rewarding career where you can make a real difference to someone’s life.

This is one of many testimonials we have received which shows the difference  a  CAREGiver can make to an older persons life:

‘My Father was suffering with early stage Alzheimer's when my Mother passed away. Dad was fit and active but he needed a lot of support to remain living at home. The first care company I tried only used to spend a few minutes with Dad while they put a ready meal in the microwave oven and then they would leave before he had even eaten it.

Home Instead were infinitely better in every respect. They visited Dad with me and carried out a thorough care assessment. We agreed a care plan that was put in place immediately. All their staff were extremely pleasant to deal with and very professional at all times. The caregivers who looked after Dad were lovely and he really looked forward to their visits. They prepared proper meals, they obtained prescriptions and gave Dad his medication. They took Dad to the doctor and dentist and they also took him to social events arranged by Home Instead for their clients. They generally went above and beyond what I expected and I can't recommend them enough’. (Stephen, son)

At Home Instead we’re running the You Can Care campaign, to provide advice and support. Simply search #youcancare on social media, for a range of hints and tips on ways to live well in later life.

office group photo with CQC 'Outstanding' award
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home