Dee, senior care worker

Flexible working hours and the ability to make a difference every single day is what inspired Dee to move into a career in care.

Find out what Dee enjoys about being a care worker

"There's definitely flexibility with the work, it gives life balance"

Dee chose to work in residential care as it offered her the flexibility she needed in her personal life, and the opportunity to achieve her goals of helping those within her community, in her work life.

What is a care or support worker?

As a care worker, or support worker, you’ll work in a range of places, such as care homes, someone’s home or within the community. You’ll support people with social and physical activities that could include:

  • Eating and drinking.
  • Attending appointments.
  • Undergoing basic medical checks.
  • Washing and dressing.

You’ll help lots of different people, including adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia and other mental health conditions.

What does the role involve?

The day-to-day life of a caregiver might include:

  • Booking and accompanying people to appointments.
  • Assisting with personal care such as showering and dressing.
  • Helping people to eat and drink.
  • Monitoring individual’s conditions, taking their temperature, pulse, respiration and weight, and possibly helping with medication.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

As a caregiver, what’s most important is:

  • Kindness, patience and compassion.
  • Good English, numeracy and writing skills.
  • an ability to understand and follow procedures.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills.
  • Good communication and listening skills.

You may also need:

  • GCSE A-C / 4-9 in English and Maths.
  • A social care qualification such as Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these qualifications – if you’re interested in getting them, you can work towards them once you start the job.

What hours will I work?

Working in care can be flexible. Your hours are usually based on shift patterns, so you can find a work/life balance that suits you.

Is there training and progression?

When you first start working in care, you’ll do an induction which should include the Care Certificate. You’ll also undergo basic training such as health and safety, first aid, and moving and handling. You might also receive specific training based on what the person you’re caring for needs.

You can also benefit from:

  • Informal training & education.
  • Formal qualifications such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care (up to Level 5) or specialist subjects like dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Over 50 vocational qualifications at all levels including topics such as dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Opportunities to progress and develop in adult social care, and specialise in a certain area or take on more responsibility.

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