We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, working in care isn’t for everyone.
But ‘care’ is such a broad term.
There are probably more areas and branches to ‘care’ than you realise.
Don’t assume that care refers only to care of children and the elderly, or that it always involves personal care (wiping bottoms and bathing people).
There is a whole area of care which serves adults, and this is a really important area of care that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an area of care which desperately needs staff and it’s an area that is just as rewarding as working with children.
Why do we see working with children as being so rewarding? Probably because children learn and develop every day – caring for a child effectively can make their future brighter and their life better.
But, it’s just the same with adult care.
Being a Support Worker for Adults in Care
The role of the support worker is to promote health and well-being. This means helping a person to make healthy meal choices and ensuring that they get enough exercise and removing barriers wherever possible the enable them to live a fulfilling life.
Support workers are there to support the adults they care for. To help, teach and aid development, to guide them through choices and help them to make good decisions. Support workers help to make the lives and futures of the people in their care brighter.
It is just as rewarding to teach an adult how to cook their own dinner or do their shopping as it is to teach a child the alphabet or how to tie their own shoelaces. Maybe even more so.
A support worker in adult care will enable a person to be all they can be. To teach them things the didn’t know before, give them the independence they perhaps haven’t experienced before. Very often it’s about creating opportunities that were never open to the person before and giving them the confidence and support to try new things.
Being a support worker for adults in care is a rewarding career, but plenty of patience and resilience will be required.
Support Worker Skills and Qualities
It goes without saying that a great support worker will be kind, patient and fair. Being a good communicator is a skill which will be vital, but also other key transferable skills such as good time management and teamwork, as well as honesty, adaptability, flexibility and negotiation skills will all be of use too.
Patience is a key skill, as sometimes the same thing will have to be shown or taught repeatedly for days, weeks, or months, until it is learnt or remembered. For some people it’s simply being given the opportunity to participate and giving people that control over their own life.
Does Experience Matter?
Although someone who has been working in care for a long time, who has a wealth of experience and qualifications are without doubt very valuable. It equally doesn’t matter if you are looking to change career and have no previous experience. Training is always provided and qualifications can usually be gained with no cost to you.
Find out more about careers in the care sector, or what it's like to work for Encompass (Dorset).