Common myths about the role of the CAREGiver

There seem to be some common myths around about being a CAREGiver. We want to help people understand the role of a CAREGiver 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.

So, we have pulled together the top 5 myths about CAREGiving:

Myth 1: CAREGiving is about providing routine tasks. Many people believe that CAREGivers only have about 15 minutes for each care visit and they mostly provide tasked based care such as help around the house, medication reminders and perhaps drive their client to the supermarket or doctors - if they have time.

But CAREGivers do so much more than that! They provide a large amount of social and emotional support which can be as important to their client’s wellbeing as performing tasks.

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.

Myth 3: Being cared for in your home is only for the very ill. Many people want to live at home for as long as possible, but might need a little bit of extra support around the house. In these instances, non-medical home care, including support with 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 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 now 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 information has helped shine a light on CAREGiving as a rewarding career where you can make a real difference to someone’s life.

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home