What does it take to be a good carer?
This is an important question. Live-in care is hard work and not suited to everyone, but for those people it does suit it can be a rewarding and fulfilling job.
The most important quality that we look for in our candidates is their attitude and compassion. The people who make the best carers are those who are genuinely interested in the wellbeing and welfare of those around them. Care skills can be taught and we will provide free, first-class training, but personality and compassion will be your natural characteristic.
There are a variety of other important attributes that we look for in a carer. Some of these are essential, and most likely to be found in the over 50s:
Speak clear English – our clients need to understand their carers and know that they are going to be understood. It is because of this that we have to make sure that our carers have very good spoken and written English. It doesn’t need to be your first language, but you must be able to understand, write and speak very well. We carry out a telephone interview with all of our candidates to check on this.
The ability to cook – and prepare fresh, healthy, British food is another key skill our candidates must be able to demonstrate. One of the big appeals of staying at home instead of going into a residential home is that you have control over what you eat and when you eat. Therefore it is really important that all of our carers are able to cook, understand British cuisine and follow recipes. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and we need to be able to share this with our clients.
While other qualities are not essential, they are certainly desirable and will also be common in the over 50s – opening up more work options for them as carers, these include:
Be able to drive – A full driving licence and the confidence to drive in the UK. Being able to drive your client to appointments or to visit friends and family or to go out for the day will mean that both they and you will have fun and share new and exciting experiences.
Preferably non-smoking – Unless a client smokes themselves they often don’t want a carer who smokes, so although we won’t turn you away if you smoke we do find non-smokers have more choice of work.
Previous experience is not necessary
This might surprise you but, apart from these basic things, everything else is down to what our clients might need from a carer. We teach you the skills that you will need to do the job properly, every Christies carer must complete an intensive 11 day course (recently increased to give more training on end-of-life care), so previous experience is not necessary (though it is not discouraged). Our clients have a variety of conditions and needs, some need people who drive as mentioned above for example, so we take on people with a range of backgrounds and skills, to meet our clients’ requirements.
You are not alone
The training team is always on call for advice. If you have any questions while you are with a client you can ring them and they will do their best to help. We also have Local Area Advisors who can come to see you and offer advice and insight.
Join our team
For any over 50s considering a career in care, please get in touch so we can show you why Christies Care is a top employer in this sector. We want to welcome people into the team and give you the training, skills and support to make your career in care a happy one that you can be proud of.