Is Care For Me?

Welcome to the first blog from – Is care for me?   I know; I’m a little late to the blogging party…I still send letters in the post too!!  My name is Claire and the reason for the blog is to explore the question, is care for me?  An odd question really as I already work in a care home. 

The real question I’m asking is could I be a Care Assistant?   Could you be a Care Assistant?  What does the role require?   If anyone asked me is care a job I could do; at any point in my life, now included, I’d probably quite confidently say no it’s not for me.  So, here’s where I tell you what my current job is…I’m a Recruitment Coordinator for Risedale Care Homes.  That’s right; I convince people they should be care assistants for a living!!  Hopefully with this blog I can show people it’s a role everyone can do.

I’ve heard all the negatives for being a carer, but I’ve heard all the positives too!  Like all jobs being a carer has good points and bad points, good days and bad days.  It’s not an easy job, It’s not all chit chats and cups of tea.  It’s hard work, it’s physically and emotionally draining.  But it is also the most rewarding job there is.  A carer helps to make life a little brighter for the person they look after.  Making a resident smile and be happy, makes a carer feel fulfilled and happy themselves.  Sounds clichéd but it’s what nearly every person I’ve interviewed for a care role tells me, and I believe them!

Risedale at Aldingham
Risedale at Abbey Meadow

What should you know about being a Care Assistant?

The first thing to know about being a care assistant is you don’t need experience or qualifications! There’s not a lot of jobs that can say that. Full training is given and many care companies offer qualifications if you want them. Risedale Care Homes have always invested heavily in the training of our employees. Like every care provider we put all care assistants through the Care Certificate training, which is like a mini qualification to get you started in the role. We offer apprenticeships in Health & Social Care at Level 2 & 3; we even have our own functional skills tutor for Maths and English in case you need those. If you have long term career ambitions, we also have apprenticeships in Nursing. Gone are the days where university is the only way to become a registered nurse! We’ll talk in more detail about the training on offer in a later blog so don’t worry if this interests you and you think I’ve cut it short!

The second thing you should know is, the basics to the role.   The easiest way to put it is the role of a care assistant is to look after people.  Sounds simple enough!   But like most things, it’s not as easy as you think.   Care assistants help people with all aspects of daily life.  There are the little things we take for granted because we do them for ourselves without a second thought.  I don’t know about you but I don’t worry in the morning about getting myself dressed, brushing my hair, eating my breakfast or anything else I might do during the day.  So, the basics of the role are assisting people with their daily tasks like getting out of bed, getting a shower, getting dressed, feeding at mealtimes and of course toilet breaks!!  Now I know if you’ve never experienced care before that might be enough to put you off straight away but it’s part of the job, so I have to include it!  Some of our residents are unable to do these basic tasks for themselves which is where a care assistant steps in. They enable residents to keep their independence and dignity by assisting in these tasks with kindness and compassion.

The third thing you need to know is it’s all about person centred care, Risedale Care Homes prides itself on this.  All residents are different, their needs are different, their personalities are different, so they need care that is personalised to them.  Each resident is treated as the wonderful individual person that they are.  The amazing parts of the role are the parts where you get to know the residents, where you get to make a connection on a personal level.  You get to know what they like or don’t like; you get to know what it was like for them growing up.  You get to hear about where they went on holiday when they were a child and how they took their grandkids to the same place years later.  You get to hear about all the amazing jobs they’ve done, all the fabulous adventures and experiences they’ve had.   How many jobs have that?  There are lots of cogs in the role of a care assistant all working together to make a difference to someone’s day.  There are some things we haven’t even touched on yet like how we keep residents entertained in the homes.  I intend to explore that one in a future blog as I know it’s not all bingo and jigsaws!! 

There are plenty of topics to discuss when it comes to the question “is care for me”.  I’ve touched on some basic information that I know from my experience in a care home but there are different types of care to look into.  There are different needs and levels of care to discuss.  I’m also very interested to find out reasons why people go into care and discuss them further.  Do people just like to help others or was there one specific thing that made someone say, “care is for me”.  There is the money side of things of course, we all have bills to pay.  Care is commonly known as an underpaid role but I’m yet to meet anyone who went into care for the money!  There’s the dreaded Covid 19, has that changed the care assistant role?  It hasn’t changed the way we look after our residents that’s for sure but has in the way of extra precautions we have and the guidelines we follow. 

In summary, I’ve talked a little about care and the basics of the role, but I feel like I’ve not really scratched the surface.  I certainly haven’t answered any questions from the beginning of the blog, and I know there is so much more to explore. 

Is care for me?  I’m not sure yet! 

Is care for you?  Let me know.

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