What You Should Know When You Are Working In Elderly Care
Working with the elderly is a role that requires specific training and knowledge but to do the job to the best of your ability, you will need to rely on personal attributes.
If you are reading this, you may be considering a job working with older people. Many individuals begin careers in care for the elderly without perhaps understanding what is involved.
It can be one of the most personally rewarding career paths you could take, with so much to gain from the work and, even more importantly, so much to offer to others. That being said, care work can be both physically and emotionally demanding.
We have put together the following information to help you see what you can expect from a career working with elderly people in Brookhaven Healthcare nursing homes.
With over 700,000 individuals over the age of 65 in Ireland, it is no wonder that there is such high demand for more individuals to enter into the care sector. Unfortunately, there is a national shortage of staff for this type of work, primarily due to the demanding nature of the job.
So what can you expect as a Nursing Home Care Assistant?
Many individuals in a care home tend to be at a more advanced stage in their lives and often need extra care and support.
Many nursing home assistants will be trained to provide palliative care and support for disabled and mentally ill individuals alongside their regular general care duties. It can be both a rewarding and also extremely challenging job. Some of the typical responsibilities to expect if you become a healthcare assistant in a Nursing Home include:
- To provide companionship: You may often be asked to provide company and join in activities such as card games or quizzes.
- To provide dignity and support: For many moving into a nursing home can be extremely scary, and so first and foremost, you will be expected to provide support and respect to those struggling with the change.
- Personal Care: You will be expected to provide a level of personal care. With Nursing Home residents, the requirement level will likely range depending on the dependency level of the people in your care. You should be prepared to assist with dressing, toileting, bathing, and anything else required.
- Medication and medical appointments: You will be expected to ensure that all medication is administered and taken safely and as prescribed. At times, it may also be asked that you escort individuals under your care to medical appointments either at the GP’s or the hospital.
What will be expected of you?
The most crucial aspect of any caring role is the genuine passion and care that you have.
Working with older people is not a glamorous job, and it can be challenging at times, so the need for genuine enthusiasm and caring nature is essential to do your job well.
Due to the importance of the roles, you will be undertaking during any application and interview process, we expect you to tell us why you would make a great Healthcare Assistant.
You could have all the best qualifications in the world, but if you have little interest in helping others or lack empathy, you are unlikely to be a suitable person to work with Brookhaven Care.
So, what sorts of traits should you have if you are hoping to work with older people?
- Respect and understanding: Imagine one of your parents reaching a point in life where they need assistance with getting dressed or washing. I am positive you would want them treated with dignity and respect. When thinking of one of your loved ones in this situation, it only drives home that any person considering this type of work must be respectful and understanding at all times.
- Empathy: Many residents in a Nursing Home will be living with dementia, which can sometimes make it very difficult to understand what they are going through. It is essential that you can show empathy. Allowing them to know that you are there and offer your professional support can go a very long way.
- Patience: Many individuals may not consider the types of older people they may be caring for. While many may be very capable, there will be others who may not have the capacity to manage day-to-day tasks. This can lead to confusion, aggression, and even violence, so understanding and patience are paramount.
- Reliable: It may not seem like it, but for many older people, having that interaction with their carer, regardless of the situation, might be the highlight of their day. With this in mind, it is crucial to remain consistent and reliable, as you could be making such a massive difference to that person just by being there.
- Kind and Caring: It may seem obvious, but the need for genuinely caring and kind-natured workers is vital for this position. It is not the career you can do half-heartedly and requires a genuine passion for looking after others.
This is not a complete list, but we would describe the above traits as essential. If reading this makes you feel uncomfortable and out of your depth, perhaps working as a carer is not for you.
Do you need qualifications to get a career working with the elderly?
To work as a Healthcare Assistant with Brookhaven, you will need to have the necessary qualification. The job of a Healthcare Assistant in Ireland is a qualified position, meaning not just anyone can apply for this position like in the UK. To apply for this position, you will need to have a Healthcare Assistant qualification or an equivalent qualification.
The qualification in Ireland is called the FETAC Level 5 in Care. If you have completed a Healthcare Assistant course in your home country, it is probably all you need. Also, if you have completed another healthcare qualification, like nursing or Physiotherapy, this course will exceed that of an HCA, allowing you to apply for this position.
If you feel that you have what it takes after reading this, please contact us to discuss a future in care with us in more detail.