What does care work involve?
Care assistants help people with all sorts of practical tasks including shopping, housework, laundry and even personal admin. In most cases, though, care assistants largely support people with their personal care needs.
Personal care is intimate support that will mean helping a person to wash or dress, use the toilet or prepare meals. It could also involve helping someone to take medicines or manage incontinence.
We make no bones about it; personal care can be messy. If you think you’re unable to handle nudity, bodily fluids and any associated mess, you probably aren’t cut out for care work. However, remember that there was a first time that every care assistant had to help someone change a soiled pad or wipe their bottom and, take it from us, it’s something you become used to very quickly.
Working with people who are unwell can also mean that most care assistants will eventually deal with people that are dying. Sometimes, you may even arrive at a client’s home to find they have died. This is sad at best and traumatic at worst but, as one of our care assistants, we’ll always make sure that you are prepared to cope with the death of a client when it happens and are supported afterwards to process and move on from the experience.
Even customers who are quite well may live in conditions that are not those you expect in your own home. Care assistants may find that they have to work in homes that are messy or not particularly clean and, whilst they may be able to help people to improve their living standards by cleaning, also have to accept that some people ‘just live like that’!
You can find out more about the role of a care assistant and join our team here.
The most rewarding work
Why mention all of this? Well, it’s important that we don’t pretend that care work isn’t sometimes messy, upsetting and tiring – it is. But, it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can do.
As a care assistant, you have a unique opportunity to bring a ray of sunshine into the life of someone that may be isolated, lonely, in pain or distressed. You can bring peace of mind to family carers that, as much as they would like to, can’t always be there with their beloved mum, dad or grandparent. You can bring hope and inspiration or even just company, kind words and a cup of tea. And, at the end of hard day, you will sleep well knowing that you have made a real difference. That’s not a job – it’s a vocation.