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Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes people ask us questions about what it’s like to be a homecare worker before they apply to an employer for a job.
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What is homecare?
Home care professionals provide care and support in people’s own homes. People using home care services may have long-term health conditions, age-related illnesses or mobility issues, physical and/ or learning disabilities or mental health problems. Home care professionals are trained to provide care and support that is tailored to the needs of the individual they are caring for.
What is a typical day like?
A home care professional’s day is usually organised by a timetable of appointments (often called ‘visits’ or ‘calls’). Care workers travel between visits using their own car, walking, or travelling with a colleague. Many work alone, although some may work with a colleague (sometimes called ‘double ups’) or, in rarer cases, more than one colleague if the individual has very complex needs.
What tasks will I actually do?
Home care professionals help people with practical tasks such as using the toilet, having a shower or bath, preparing and eating meals, taking medication, and keeping their home tidy. A significant part of a home care professional’s role is to provide people with an opportunity for companionship and to discuss any problems that they are experiencing. This companionship is particularly important for people who are at risk of becoming socially isolated.
Do I need my own transport?
In most homecare jobs you will need your own transport to easily get you from one client to the next as part of your day-to-day work.
In some urban areas it may be possible for a homecare professional to get around on foot or by bicycle. It might also be possible to use the bus to get from one set of calls to another.
How does the pay work?
A community care professional is usually paid according to the amount of care they deliver for their clients. As some of the working day is spent travelling between clients, there will also be payment for travel time as well as expenses to account for the cost of the fuel used in your own car.
Additionally there will be payments for holiday pay and pension contributions which are required by law.
Optionally there might also be additional payments such as for the use of your personal smartphone or bonuses for good performance.
Is there career progression?
Yes, absolutely. Many people start as care workers and then get promoted to a senior care role where they will be responsible for checking on the quality of care delivered by others.
After that there are a number of different options available;
What's so great about working in homecare?
People who work as homecare professionals invariably say there are two main reasons why they do the job;
What personal qualities make a good care professional?
The best care professionals are people that are kind and caring and who would like to make a real difference to peoples’ lives in their community.