Welsh Snippet - Myth busting the role of the CAREGiver

Myth busting the role of the CAREGiver

Welcome to the latest edition of Welsh Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Matthew Murray-James of Home Instead in Wrexham and Flintshire.

In this edition, we are going to look at some of the common myths surrounding the role of the Home care assistant, Carer or CAREGiver as we like to call them at Home Instead. We want to help people understand what CAREGiving entails and to encourage people to think about a career in care. According to Care Council Wales, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in Wales, there are approximately 90,000 vacancies in the UK 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 as help around the house, medication reminders and perhaps drive their client to the grocery store or pharmacy 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 impactful on their client’s wellbeing as those performing physical activities.

At Home Instead we have minimum call length of 60 minutes for all clients regardless of needs.

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 we provide training to cover the Social Care Induction Framework, Welsh Passport in Moving & Handling and how to support with Medication reminders.

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 our Elderly relatives 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.

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.