#home care jobs
Care home jobs
Broadly speaking, regardless of type of job, if you work in a care home you are working to support care home residents. Some jobs are infrastructural administrative or domestic jobs – meaning that you might work on estates, in admin, in the kitchens or as a cleaner (these are not the kind of jobs we list). The rest (and the kind of jobs we do list on this site) centre around service user support, therapy, management, support and care.
Recently, there has been some discussion of the changing dynamics of societal make-up. We are all starting to live longer and less of us are having babies or living with traditional family units.
There are currently just over 20,000 care homes in the UK. There was a mass of home closures in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s which prompted concern about the UK’s general ability to cope with the level of demand. Specifically, there were worries about the impact on hospital beds due to vulnerable people having nowhere else to go.
In Spring 2001, the Office for National Statistics noted that the number of households with 3 generations (i.e. child, parent and grandparent) was under 1%. As a culture, we just don’t look after our elderly within our family homes anymore.
Government projections expect the number of elderly people to rise by up to 40% by 2031. The Actuary Department expects 36,000 of these to be over 100 years old with 5% of the UK’s total population aged over 85 by 2034. By 2046, it is expected that the number of those aged over 85 will have tripled to 3.3 million people with further increases to 16.8 million by 2051.
As such, the Government predicts that the number of care home places will need to double to 1.13 million by 2051. The highest increases are predicted to take place within the North-East, South-East and East Anglia.
With reference to those in care now, current estimates by the Alzheimer’s Society place the number of older people in care homes with dementia at 75%.
This level of dementia extrapolated alongside the predicted increase in the elderly translates to a great many care home jobs and nursing home jobs opportunities within the next quarter-century. Now, more than ever, the decision to move into care home work is a good one.
So, what are care home jobs about…. The residents will live in a care home for a real variety of reasons but the fundamentals don’t change. Basic tasks include help with their hygiene, medication regimes, socialisation, trips out and making sure they get enough to eat. Again, it might be that you help with the direct health care or a more supportive role (such as making sure the kitchen is clean enough to cook in!)
Obviously, care home jobs will be in care homes but the location of these will vary too. Care homes can be found in urban settings, surburban settings and out in the countryside. So whether you’re a cosmopolitan city-dweller, thoughtful nature-lover or snuggled-down surburbanite, you’ll be able to find a care home job near you!
Do I need special qualifications for this kind of work?
Well, it all depends on what you want to do! If you’re interested in a standard, entry-level care worker job, then the answer is ‘probably not’. Some places like to see an NVQ in Care (or a related/relevant subject) and often, they’ll want you to undertake an NVQ whilst on the job but, strictly speaking, you aren’t likely to need a special qualification.
If you’re considering working in care management, then you certainly will need some kind of advanced qualification plus several years in the job. NVQs at Level 4 and 5 are desirable; a degree in health care management is also attractive.
If you’re considering an in-house therapeutic or nursing position, then you’ll need the requisite qualifications, training and registration. As a nurse, you’ll train for 3 years and then register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council; in a role like occupational therapist, you’ll train again for around 3 years and then register with the Health and Care Professions Council.
If you want to provide practical services – such as gardening or chef work – to a care home, you’ll likely need qualifications here too. If you’re self-employed, your track record may prove sufficient but for jobs involving hygiene (like cooking or cleaning), you will definitely need to show that you understand the specifics of safe practice and legislative expectations.
What sort of person suits care home jobs?
The clue’s in the name….you need to be caring. Care home jobs involve helping some of society’s most vulnerable people so kindness, friendliness, empathy and genuinely caring about their welfare will see you a long way in care home jobs. An easy and open disposition will pout service users at ease and make sure that you’re a great team member.
Stamina and endurance are often needed too. Hours can be long in care homes – especially if you pull a double shift or have two shifts split by sleeping in at the care home. Sometimes, you may work what is known as a ‘waking night’, where you’ll either need to prepare to be woken regularly or are on a schedule where a service user needs checking regularly.
Moreover, service users often need support with things like getting in and out or bed or bath. You’ll never be expected to physically lift them yourself (run a mile and report your employer if you are!) but there will be hoist equipment that still requires a bit of effort and concentration.
Is there much career progression to be found in care home work?
Absolutely. The clearest path to the top is by working as a support worker. You start out as an entry-level support worker, cut your teeth and move up to senior and then set your sights on management. Within the decade, you could start to consider running your own care home or applying for regional and national management posts with the larger care providers – assuming you’ve kept your studies in management and legislation up to date too.
You also may find that you want to change career itself whilst remaining in the care home environment – if so, your experience will count for a lot during your course application and with luck, you may even find prior training counts towards your new qualification!
How to find a care home vacancy right now
If you want to get onto your job search right now, then just scroll back up the page for an overlook of what we’ve currently listed. If you want to dig a little deeper, go to our advanced job search page. Here, you can alter your search to reflect your career level, location, sector and desired hours to find just the right post for you!
Alternatively, if your heart’s desire requires some further studying, have a look in our Careers advice area. This has articles about the nature of different social care jobs and profiles covering the courses offered by different establishments – good luck!