Care assistants, sometimes known as care workers /
carers, provide practical help with daily activities to
people with a range of difficulties. They work with
children, people with physical or learning disabilities,
older people or families. Carers may help people in their
own homes, in sheltered housing, day centres or in
residential settings such as nursing homes.
Home care assistants work as part of a team, visiting clients daily to provide support. Some care assistants work as part of an outreach team, helping families and parents experiencing difficulties adjusting to new responsibilities. A new role in social care work is that of personal assistant; this involves working closely with one disabled person to support them in their day-to-day life.
Residential or day care assistants work with others in implementing individual development programmes for clients, often becoming the ‘key worker’ to one or two residents. They may help to organise recreational activities and escort clients to and from the residential home, particularly young people who attend a local college.
Certain tasks are common to all care assistant roles, including:
Home care assistants usually work 37 to 40 hours a
week, which may include weekends. Those working in
residential settings may have occasional overnight
stays, often on a rota basis, or even be required to live
in. Part-time work is often available.
Protective clothing such as gloves and tabards may be issued, and safety equipment is frequently used. Care work can be physically strenuous and mentally challenging.
To be a care assistant, you should:
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