Working in Residential Care – How Could it Benefit You?

Why is the care sector one of the most employable sectors in the UK?

The UK ageing population is growing rapidly – leading to the largest demand for adult care that the country has ever seen.  The number of people aged over 85 is reaching an all-time high.  It is predicted that the need for care homes places may need to increase by up to 85% in the next 20 years.  Coupled with this, the ageing population comes with increasingly complex health needs, meaning that working in the care sector is always adapting to new challenges.

Is a career in the care sector for you?

According to www.skillsforcare.co.uk , the care sector draws its employees from all walk s of life – those searching for a meaningful career change, young people entering the workforce for the first time and those looking to try something different as they move into semi-retirement.  The care sector suits anyone looking to make a positive difference to the lives of others.

What could working in a care home involve?

Working in care can involve hospital settings, nursing homes, social care settlements and supporting people in their own homes.  Working in a care home is a great way to learn about a wide spectrum of needs and to meet the requirements of patients both medically and pastorally.  The opportunities are diverse – care homes employ specialists such as occupational therapists and art therapists as well as roles such as care assistants, administrative staff, caterers and maintenance staff.  Indeed many embrace care assistant opportunities as a gateway into careers such as nursing and social care.

What skills can you learn as a care worker?

Working in the care sector is rewarding and fulfilling in many ways.  There are job opportunities for every level of skill or education.  All centres will provide initial training to help you prepare for working in residential care.  Most centres also provide opportunities for workers to train and study towards health and social care diplomas or to pursue continuing professional development (CPD).  Some offer specialist training such as learning to care for patients with specific illnesses such as dementia, strokes, learning disabilities and terminal care.

What does a care worker do?

In the role of care worker, you can expect to be involved in personal care such as washing, feeding and assisting with medication/wound care as well as general monitoring of health and well-being.  You may be involved in social activities and help patients to access hobbies or simply provide a listening ear.  Some care workers are involved in shopping trips and outdoor visits and some can offer recreation in the form of music and games.  As you progress, you may have chance to take on a leadership role, managing a team of workers and have an input on the day to day running of a care centre.

Is a care worker role suited to me?

The greatest benefit of working in a care home is in the development of personal skills – listening and communicating.  Care work is more than just a job – it is about caring about people.  Patience, understanding and empathy matter more here than an extensive CV.  Having a desire to help others means you already qualified to start a career in care.

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