Have you ever wondered what it is really like to work within the walls of a care home? Well, we have teamed up with one of our members and asked them a bunch of questions to help you decide if it could be a role you would enjoy.
Carehome work can be rewarding, but it’s also physically, mentally and emotionally demanding as you provide care for people who are vulnerable, elderly or sick. There are several challenges that caregivers encounter at work that can make the job stressful, but most carers learn to manage them with time.
Having been interested in some kind of caring role since a teen, Sarah began her career volunteering at local residential and care homes in her local town. It was here that she discovered a passion for caring for others, particularly the elderly- thriving in their company and listening to the stories of the residents’ lives and becoming an integral part of the home. After many years Sarah continued her training, becoming a Registered Nurse, which allowed her to gain considerable skills and experience that she could apply to new roles within healthcare.
As a qualified nurse Sarah had options, did she want a role in a hospital, NHS or private? Or did she want to return to her roots and care for others in a more personal manner, within a care or residential home or facility? She had many questions that needed consideration and so took a role in the local area as the on-roll nurse for some of the local nurseries and schools. It became apparent that her real love was for caring for the older generation; although she enjoyed her time with the younger end, it was those with stories to tell who held her heart, so she began the search for a new role in healthcare, within a care home or residential home.
A New Role
We don’t think you need to work in a care home to appreciate what a challenging, though rewarding, job it is. Care home staff, do a demanding job and do it well; making sure all their residents are treated equally with dignity and respect. Any good care home worker will tell you how important it is to be constantly vigilant. It’s not just for the things you might think would be obvious either like potential hazards.
A huge part of a care assistant’s job is maintaining a person’s dignity and independence. To do that you need to be alert to anything that might affect this and be able to react instantly to rectify it.
Being that alert constantly is hard and we tip our hats to anyone that chooses to do it daily!
However, as Sarah points out some parts of the job can be a lot less enjoyable than others! “No one tells you about how attached you get to residents, or how much time you will spend cleaning up bodily fluids. It is all part of the job, but is something that you have to get used to.”
Having to tell a family member that their Mother/Father or Grandmother/Grandfather has died is one of the worst things about working in a care home. Anything that’s said may seem wrong or impersonal. All you can do is remain calm and empathetic whilst trying to answer all the relatives’ questions as best as you can.
All They Have
The well-being of residents is a priority at all good care homes with regular human contact vital for starving off loneliness. This will often fall to the carers looking after them, particularly when family live too far away to visit regularly.
Sometimes you’ll be all they have, a great privilege but also a huge responsibility.
Do you work in a care home? Do you agree with some of the things Sarah mentioned? What would you say are the best and worst things about working in a care home?