Five common questions about working in care

For some people, a career in care is a natural calling.  For others, it may be something that they’d like to consider but they’re worried about certain aspects of the job or not having enough experience.

These misconceptions can get in the way of people applying for roles in care, which otherwise could lead to a rewarding career.  

We’ve answered some of the most common questions below which will hopefully help to bust some of the myths involved with home care.

I’ve never worked in care and don’t have any experience – can I still apply?

Of course!  At Home Instead, we place value on your personal qualities, rather than the qualifications or experience. 

This doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate previous care experience – if you already have this, that’s a bonus! 

But we select our CAREGivers on much more than that.  We are looking for people who have a caring nature and can show empathy to others.   Everything else we can train you for, but your compassion for people will be completely natural!

When you join Home Instead, you’ll be provided with comprehensive training which will prepare you for the role of CAREGiver.  In line with the All Wales Induction Framework, it covers everything you need to know in order to provide the highest standards of care.  And that’s not all – we provide ongoing training throughout your career to ensure that you feel fully supported in your role.

I think I’d be a natural at the companionship element, but I’m a little bit nervous about personal care of clients.

This is probably one of the biggest barriers that potential applicants face when they are considering a career in care.  It’s a common misconception that care is simply getting some washed and dressed, or helping them go to the toilet, but in reality this is just a very small feature in a much broader spectrum of help and support that we offer to clients. 

As a CAREGiver you’ll split your time helping clients with a range of helpful tasks.  This could be anything from helping them get up and ready for the day, preparing nutritious meals, some light housework to simply offering company and conversation. 

Home Instead values the dignity of our clients so all the visits are a minimum of one hour. This means you won’t be rushing from client to client and gives you time to focus on the quality care you provide.

I’ve been working in an office for the last ten years and looking for something different.  But if I’m a CAREGiver will I be stuck in a client’s home all day?

There is one thing that we can guarantee about a job in care, and that’s that every day will be different!

Some clients, depending on their needs might need to be in their homes more than others, but one of the real benefits of having a CAREGiver is that it enables the client to achieve much more than they’d be able to if they were on their own.

An important feature in the role of CAREGiver is one of encouragement and support.  Some clients may not want to leave the house due to anxiety or depression. A companion that can help support them is exactly what they need to be able to get out, and do things that they’ve always enjoyed. 

Other clients with impaired mobility may use walking aids, such as sticks or a walking frame.  Having someone to offer a helping hand to help them with their grocery shopping or a trip to the local garden centre can really help with confidence and enables clients to maintain a good quality of life, that otherwise they may struggle with. 

It might take a little while for you to build up a trusting relationship with the client, but at Home Instead we actively encourage our CAREGivers to help our clients stay active and maintain their links within the wider community.

I have a family/another job – how would care work fit around this?

Dolly Parton certainly wasn’t singing about home care in her famous hit! As you can imagine, our clients require support at various times of the day and evening, as well as weekends.  We also offer a waking night service. 

Whilst some may enjoy the routine of a 9-5 role, care can offer others an opportunity to fit their career around their partner, family or other commitments. 

You tell us when you’re available and we’ll do the rest.  The majority of our CAREGivers work with us part-time and could be anywhere from 10-30 hours per week.  We can offer weekday visits but if you just need a job during the evening or solely at weekends then there’s something to suit too.  

Will I encounter difficult clients?  I’m worried how I might cope on my own?

We want all our clients to feel completely at ease with their CAREGiver and vice versa.  We try to match our clients to CAREGivers as much as possible, based on common interests and before a first visit, you’ll always be introduced to a client so they know who to expect.  As a new CAREGiver, you’ll shadow more experienced members of the team who’ll help you along your journey.    

As is to be expected in care, especially with some clients who may be living with dementia, there can be challenges that arise.  But the main thing to remember is that you are never alone.  

Home Instead is a team, we value the wellbeing of our CAREGivers and we are there to support you when you need it.

Do you have any other questions?  

You’ll find lots more information about Home Instead here on our website.  If you’re local to us then why not pop along to one of our recruitment open days?  These sessions are usually held once a month, and allow you to ask all the above questions and more.   Find out when the next one is taking place over on our Facebook page.

If you’re sure that becoming a CAREGiver is definitely for you, then we can arrange a further interview and hopefully get you prepared for you to take your next steps in home care!