Becoming a carer for the elderly

Are you interested in becoming a carer? Perhaps you're a mum with older children who are starting school or are in secondary school and beyond, and you're looking for a flexible career that works around the needs of your family? If you're worried that you might not have the right skills or experience to become a carer, find out what you can do if you think this career path suits your personality and your needs.

Looking at your transferable skills

No matter your professional background, you're bound to have to transferable skills (either from your previous jobs or life experiences) that will be relevant for you if you want to start a new career as a carer.

Our current Schedule Coordinator and End-of-Life Care Specialist Domizia Conti, for example, trained and worked as a nurse before joining us at Home Instead. While she didn't initially have any specific training or experience as a carer, she was able to successfully join us as a CAREGiver. And she loved every minute of it! You can read more about Domizia's story and experience here.

So if you're considering becoming a career, you can start by looking at anything that you may have done in your life (professionally or otherwise) that would have helped you develop the skills you need as a carer.

  • Have you worked in a caring role before?
  • Have you had a job where you needed to think 'out of the box' and on your feet to provide quick solutions to problems?
  • Do you have experience of looking after a sick family member?
  • Do you enjoy listening and lending an empathetic ear to others?

When you start to think about it, you'll probably find a lot of life experiences that make you a brilliant carer. 

Often, just being a parent means you've got what it takes to become a successful and fulfilled carer. So if you don't have any experience in this area of work yet, don't despair!

And if you'd like more information on the specific skills you need in order to become a carer, head over to Carers UK for additional advice.

Getting experience and obtaining references

If you interview for a carer role, you will be asked for any previous experience and references. So what can you do if you don't have any?

Once you've spent some time looking at the skills you may need as a carer, it's time to start thinking about what you could do to get some relevant experience to add to your CV and to obtain references to provide alongside your application.

If you're interested in working with us, you don't necessarily need to have worked as a carer. But we will still ask for references and for more information about any relevant experience you might have. 

So here are some of the activities you might want to consider:

  • Volunteering in church, in the community, or at your local religious institution.
  • Helping at school with practical tasks, including volunteering for the PTA, the Government body, helping at school fayres, etc.
  • Volunteering at the local library or Children's Centre.
  • Helping out at the local food pantry or food bank.
  • Sign up to help the elderly through a registered charity like Age UK.

If you have no experience yet, there's always time to start! And if you're the type of person who feels passionate about making a difference in people's lives, you'll enjoy getting involved and helping out. Plus, you will get some great experience and obtain fantastic references to help you become a carer.

Starting a career as a CAREGiver with Home Instead

We are always looking for fantastic people to join our team. Here at Home Instead, we are passionate about helping older people to live well at home.  Because care homes aren't the only available option for the elderly or the terminally ill!

We handpick our CAREGivers for their characters and values. Experience and references play a big part. But what matters to us is that you are the right person for the job.

So you will be perfect for us if you are someone who:

  • Has respect and patience.
  • Is supportive and encouraging.
  • Likes to listen, has a big heart and a friendly nature.
  • Loves helping others, likes working with people, and wants to make a difference.
  • Is empathetic and enthusiastic.

Our motto is that "to us, it's personal", and you can see that in everything we do. All of our care is relationship-led, which means that we’ll match you with the person you care for, based on shared hobbies and interests.

As a CAREGiver at Home Instead, you will receive excellent training to help you support older people and their families. As employers, we also offer great rates of pay and flexible hours. Whether you want to work full time, 10 or 35 hours a week, we've got you covered.

Recently, we also won Best Employer for carer jobs in Hammersmith. So if you want to find out more about what our CAREGivers think about working with us and about the support and training they receive, have a read of our article: The Best Employer for carer jobs in Hammersmith.

We also have a highly-valued Employee Assistance Programme, which is free for all employees and provided Life & Progress. Due to the delicate and sensitive nature of our jobs, our partners offer all our staff free support and counseling.

Apply for a role as a CAREGiver with Home Instead

So if you're considering becoming a carer, why not look into joining our award-winning team of CAREGivers? Our people are our purpose. And we’re proud that our CAREGivers love what they do and are happy to work for us. If you think this could be the right career path for you, apply for a role today or get in touch by calling our Hammersmith and Chiswick branch on 0208 0223276.