A day in the life of a Home Carer

Having come to the care industry from a completely different career path I can honestly say that it is the best thing I have ever done. No day is alike as my clients have a diverse set of needs, making my work load very interesting and fulfi lling. When I started working for Astor, I was able to choose the days and times I wanted to work each week to fi t around my other commitments, then each month I receive a rota which shows the names of the clients I will be visiting.

My day starts in the morning with duties ranging from helping people to get out of bed, toileting, washing and assisting to dress. I prepare breakfast and help with medication. I also help with laundry as well as other light house work duties that may be required. Later I will go out on lunch calls which involve preparing meals, washing up and generally tidying around. Some clients require shopping trips or assistance to get to appointments and I will take them out. The evening / night calls are usually a reverse of the morning, helping people to get ready and into bed safely, making sure clients have everything they need to make it through the night in comfort.

Throughout my visits I encourage the service users to do whatever they can independently as this is a fundamental aim of Home Care. Some of the people I visit are vulnerable and rely completely on the help and support I give them. I must record what Ive done during my time with them, noting any concerns that the next carer will need to know. I have received training in procedures that must be followed which protects both the service users and me. It is important that I am familiar with service users needs and preferences and if I am unsure of these I have to speak with my Supervisor and check the care plans and observation sheets. It is not just the service user that I will be dealing with, as family and friends of the clients need to know and be reassured that their loved ones are being cared for in the best possible manner.

I do not always work alone, as some clients require two carers because of lack of mobility. This is to aid them and ourselves safely in the moving and handling process by use of appropriate equipment. I like working with other carers as this makes me feel part of a team.

To become a good carer, I think you have to be patient, calm, understanding, reliable, open minded, fl exible and hard working with a good sense of humour. I also think if you are suited to the job nothing will give you greater satisfaction than to know that you are providing a very worthwhile service to your service users, helping them to lead independent and active lives in their own homes.