Senior Snippets: Myth Busting The Role of the CAREGiver

In this latest edition of Senior Snippets, brought to you by Home Instead Senior Care Stevenage and North Herts, we would like to address some of the more common myths that have developed around the role of CAREGiver.  In recent reports from Skills for Care, a strategic body that has been set up to develop the workforce in adult social care in England, there are over 90,000 vacancies at any given time in the Social Care Sector.  We want to help people understand what the role of CAREGiver is and to encourage people to think about a rewarding career in care.

Top 5 Myths around being a CAREGiver

Myth 1:  CAREGiving only involves Routine Tasks

It is widely thought that if you work in care that there is only about 15 minutes assigned to each care visit and that it is mainly task based such as helping in the home, giving medication or personal Care if required.

BUT CAREGiving is much, much more than that with Home Instead. By developing relationships with your clients you provide a huge amount of social and emotional support which is as important to the client’s wellbeing as the physical tasks you might do.

Myth 2: Care work is an unskilled Profession

CAREGivers are highly skilled healthcare workers in the Sector. In Home Instead each new CAREGiver undergoes an intensive initial training course and then through their career there are many opportunities to increase their skills and/or specialise in particular areas such as Alzheimer’s and these will enhance your effectiveness in your role as well as your own personal development.

Myth 3: Being Cared for in the home is only for the Ill

Most seniors if asked would almost always say that they would prefer to live in their own homes for as long as possible, however, there may come a time when they might require a little bit of help around the home.  Non-medical home care including, companionship and personal care can be provided by professional CAREGivers. When supporting people living in their own home companionship plays a vital role in helping prevent social isolation and loneliness. Being lonely can have a detrimental effect on an older person’s health and wellbeing. A friendly face coming in each day can make all the difference to someone’s quality of life boosting wellbeing and sense of purpose.  CAREGiving can also involve daily living activities like dressing, eating and bathing as well as driving to the shops and doing a bit of light housework.  

Myth 4: CAREGiving Services Are the same

It is very important when looking for care for a loved one or for a job in the care sector.  Many companies may look in the first instance to be the same but look deeper and you will start to see differences in how they engage with their clients and the way in which they treat their employees.

With so many options available it is very important to do plenty of research and ask lots of questions before making any decisions.

Myth 5: Most Caregivers are middle-aged women

This myth might have been true of the past but CAREGivers are a much more diverse group in todays world. Many are men and many are of the millennial generation, between the ages of 18-30. We are also seeing   increased numbers of people of all ages who want to do social good, either as an addition to their current employment or because they have retired from work and now find themselves with time on their hands to help others.

These are just a few examples of the myths surrounding the role of a CAREGiver, there are many more, however, we hope that this article has helped shine a light on CAREGIVING as a worthwhile and rewarding career where you can make a real difference to someone’s life.

At Home Instead we are running a YOU CAN CARE campaign to provide advice and support. You can find it by searching #youcancare on social media.

If you would like to make a suggestion for future Senior Snippets Topics, please write to me at or by post to Home Instead, Unit 16 Venture House, Fifth Avenue, Letchworth, SG6 2HW.  Alternatively call me on 01462 600462.

Karen Marsh

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