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Wednesday, 01 November 2017

Skills you need to secure a career as a live-in carer

Written by The Good Care Group

There is no better option than a career in Live-In Care if you have a natural passion for helping others. As a Live-In Carer, you can experience an unmatched level of professional fulfillment and job satisfaction, providing support at a personalised and sustained level - a quality of care which is sometimes difficult to deliver in a care home or hourly care setting. By choosing a live in care job, you will be making a difference in the lives of a person at a time when they need companionship and support the most.

Live-In Care does present its own unique challenges and requires a select set of characteristics to prepare a person for the responsibility of around the clock care in a home environment. Find out whether you possess these top qualities needed to become a successful Live-In Carer.

1. Professional Or Personal Care Experience

Having previous experience in Live-In Care is extremely valuable, unlike other care provisions, carers will typically work alone during a placement. This means there is often little opportunity for shadow learning. Although all Live-In Carers will conduct extensive training before being placed with a client, a good understanding of the fundamentals such as manual handling, medication management, and current care delivery techniques will provide a great platform from which further knowledge and Live-In Care specific skills can be built upon.

Your knowledge of care can be acquired from both professional experiences developed through a work environment or from personal experience from caring for a loved one or friend. Be sure to highlight any specialist training and qualifications you may have had with complex conditions such as dementia, as these skills demonstrate that you are proficient with dealing with clients with more complex needs and can be given greater responsibility.

2.  Availability & Flexibility

A Live-In Carers reliability and dependability is a major factor.  On the whole, care professionals typically work unusual hours, as a person's needs do not stop when business hours end -  this is especially true for Live-In Carers. A predetermined rota pattern will be worked out before your placement begins, a typical pattern will often have you working consistently for say 2 weeks on before taking a 2-week break, sometimes the rotation can be longer, such as 4 weeks on 2 weeks off. They vary and there are many options to suit your lifestyle. When you are on duty you will work an average number of hours each day, with a 2 hour break during your shift.

During your off periods, you will also be asked to vacate the property. In order to provide consistent and familiar care a great deal of availability and flexibility is required, including arranging accommodation during your days off. Before entering a Live-In Care job it is important to consider whether your lifestyle is suitable and if you are able to commit to the rota patterns.

3. Listening & Communication

A unique aspect of Live-In Care is the ability to provide companionship alongside needs related support, the combination of these two factors can have amazing effects on a person's well-being and happiness. Listening to and acknowledging your client's opinions and wishes as well as respecting their choices is key for building a trusting and enjoyable relationship. A good Live-In Carer will understand how to engage and respond to the person receiving care, show interest and understanding whilst also maintaining a productive care routine throughout the day.

Carers may also be asked to accompany a client to doctors and hospital appointments, having the ability to listen carefully and clearly communicate instructions from appointments will be a large part of your role as a carer, therefore you often required to have excellent English speaking and writing skills.

4. Organisation & Planning

A Live-In Carer will become responsible for certain aspects of their clients home, this can include anything from the preparation and cooking of nutritional meals to completing household chores. Ensuring the home environment is clean, safe and comfortable is as equally part of a Live-In Carers role as delivering the care plan.

Live-In Care gives people the ability to remain independent in their homes, therefore you may be asked for assistance with simple administration tasks such as paying bills, posting letters, or helping your client attend classes and activities in the community. In order to keep the household running smoothly, tasks will need to be overseen with prior preparation, scheduling, and planning.

5. A Caring Nature

There's no denying that care in any form is difficult, as it requires you to put another's needs and considerations before your own. There are particular personality traits believed to indicate whether a person will adapt well to the responsibility and challenges of Live-In Care-taking it in their stride.

These characteristics include:

  • Patience - Having the ability to calmly and coolly handle situations that arise during care without becoming frustrated is vital.
  • Empathetic and understanding  - Recognising and demonstrating compassion for your client and their loved ones, always putting yourself in their shoes
  • Sensitive- As a Live-In Carer you must be in tune with your client's wellbeing, and have the ability to provide care with dignity in all situations.
  • Supportive - A Live-In Carers role is to aid the person in continuing their independence at home,  assisting your client with their wishes and choices.
  • Responsible and Resilient- A good Live-In Carer will be able to deliver the care plan in a professional manner and show resilience and creativity when the care doesn't always go to plan!

As a growing number of people choose to stay at home whilst receiving care, the need for fantastic Live-In Carers is at an all-time high. As a Live-In Carer, there is a great deal of opportunity for you to develop,  improving the service you provide as you continue to discover new aspects of your client's personality and preferences, as well as building a bond which is valued by both you and the person you deliver care to. With excellent support, extensive training and generous benefits, a career in Live-In Care can be extremely beneficial to both you and the person you care for. 


About the Author

The Good Care Group is a Live-in care provider rated 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission. They provide 24/7 support, attractive care employment packages and a full range of benefits. Find out more by visiting: https://www.thegoodcaregroup.com/live-in-care-jobs/

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