Being a Carer
Being a carer or support worker is an incredibly rewarding career. Knowing you are supporting people to make choices, achieve goals and gain the independence that so many people take for granted, offers a real sense of accomplishment and pride.
Your support enables people to lead the life they choose. Only when you have experienced the satisfaction of seeing an individual attain a goal you have supported them towards and seeing the fulfilment and happiness it brings them, will you appreciate what being a carer means.
Being a carer entails much more than a list of tasks and responsibilities. It is about supporting all individuals to get the maximum satisfaction from their life and everything they do, just as you would expect for yourself.
Considering a career in care?
To be a successful Care or Support Worker, you will need the following qualities:
- Excellent interpersonal skills- you are working with people who have hopes, fears, good days and bad, just like you and me. Knowing this and reacting appropriately is vital to being successful in your role;
- A compassionate nature- it’s called care work for a reason. You need to be able to go the extra mile for no other incentive other than that passion to do the right thing by someone;
- An ability to manage difficult situations- care sometimes demands that you act quickly in an emergency situation with a calm and professional approach;
- Good communication skills- being able to listen properly is a fundamental of being a carer. This includes listening to what someone is vocalising as well as paying attention to what is not being said;
- A sense of humour- care is a serious job and carries a lot of responsibilities, but it is important to be able to have fun with the people you are supporting and lighten the mood when appropriate.
All in a day's work- What does a Carer do?
Take a step back and look at all of the things you do independently on a daily basis without much thought.
From the moment you are awake, you have started to organise your day independently. You have washed and dressed. You have decided if you want breakfast, if you have time for breakfast, what you’d like to eat and then either made it or not. Maybe you’ve left early to go to work. Maybe it is your day off and you have decided to meet with friends or family. You’re thinking ahead and planning your day.
- Do you go on your own?
- How do you get there?
- How much money do you take?
- Will you make it on time?
- Will you be safe?
- Have you thought about the all of the risks associated with what you have planned?
- What have you done to minimise the risks?
The decisions listed are amongst hundreds you make independently on a daily basis. There is an endless list of tasks, thoughts, feelings, and problems which you may be faced with but you manage and solve.
Many of the people we support do not have the ability to deal with things in the way that you or I do, which is why your role as a carer or support worker is so important to them.
As a carer you are there to guide, encourage and offer assistance, to facilitate independent daily living. The people you are supporting may be independent in some of these areas, however may find others very difficult. It is the role of a carer to communicate effectively with individuals, so that just the right amount of support is given to enable them to achieve what they want.