A Domiciliary Care Worker Job could be just for you
A domiciliary care worker job could be just what you’re looking for, but what exactly does the job involve? We take a look at the working routine and the tasks involved in domiciliary care. Words by Sarah Gill
26th October 2011
A domiciliary care worker is an essential part of the life of someone who lives in their own home but for whatever reason has difficulty performing daily tasks. This could be because of a disability, dementia or old age. Clients who use domiciliary care services find they encounter a range of difficulties when performing every day tasks, so the aid of a domiciliary care worker is crucial to their quality of life, wellbeing and independence. It’s an extremely rewarding job, and vacancies are available for anyone with the right outlook and passion for helping others.
In this article we’ll look at some of the daily tasks a domiciliary care worker could undertake. Most domiciliary care workers are based in the community and so travel between different clients. Depending on the area you’re covering and the needs of the clients you’re visiting, you could see between 4 and 6 clients in an 8 hour shift. Some domiciliary carers only work part time, or at weekends, so your rota will be tailored to the hours you’re contracted for.
Daily Routine of Visiting Clients
If you’re starting your shift in the early morning, you will be visiting clients who need help with their basic morning routine. This will mean you will be helping clients out of bed, assisting with their personal care including washing and getting dressed. For someone who struggles with their mobility this may mean assisting them with the mobility equipment they use for example a wheelchair, or if they need the use of a hoist to get them into their wheelchair, you will need to operate that. You will only be assigned to a client who requires this assistance if you have been fully trained in the use of a hoist and the correct manual handling techniques.
Your responsibilities will vary depending on the needs of your clients but you will definitely be involved with meal preparation and domestic tasks such as cleaning or delivering shopping. Some clients will have their only visit from a domiciliary care worker in the middle of the morning, but you will still have to prepare their lunch and often a sandwich for their dinner. Mid morning can seem like an inconvenient time for an individual to eat their main meal, but if another visit is not scheduled for the rest of the day, then needs must.
Many of the clients a domiciliary carer will visit, particularly if they are elderly, might not see another person for the entire day, so there should be adequate time in the schedule for you to engage them in conversation, if just for 5 minutes. It makes a world of difference to their day and emotional wellbeing is equally important as physical wellbeing, so it’s an essential part of any care provision.
At the end of every visit you will be updating the care records for that particular client, noting down any changes in their requirements and overall state of health. Many domiciliary care workers attend daily team meetings where they can discuss their caseload with a manager, and where daily meetings aren’t a possibility there are usually weekly meetings and a team leader or manager will be at the end of the phone to answer queries about a client’s situation.
Practicalities of being a Domiciliary Care Worker
Whenever you undertake a task in a client’s home, whether that is cooking, cleaning or putting some laundry on, you need to take into account the hazards that may be present and how best to avoid them. A risk assessment of the environment should have already been carried out and you must always ensure you’re working according to safe working practices. You should never undertake a task, especially manual handling, unless you have the correct training and any equipment, such as a hoist, is in full working order.
For a significant proportion of your time you will be traveling between clients, and the majority of employers will expect you to have a full, clean driving license and own a car that you can use in conjunction with your work. You need be very good at managing your time and making sure you spend only the allotted time with each client, a small delay at the beginning of your day can mean each client further down the rota is affected by the delay.
How to apply for your first domiciliary care worker job
Becoming a domiciliary care worker is not just a case of writing a brilliant CV, covering letter and personal statement, it’s about showing the employer that you’re the right candidate for this kind of job. Domiciliary care work takes a certain kind of person, and you need to have some particular qualities about your personality in order to get satisfaction from the job. You should have a genuine interest in others, a will to help people, perseverance, patience and a kindness of heart. It’s important that you emphasise your personal skills in your application, so a section on your CV or covering letter going into detail about why domiciliary care work would suit you is essential.
Domiciliary care work is a vital part of the social care sector, and a career path that’s available to anyone interested in working with others. Follow this link to view all current domiciliary care jobs.