Top tips for new home carers
Deciding to be a home carer is one of the most rewarding career decisions you can make. The level of fulfilment and satisfaction you get from being a carer is unparalleled. From your very first day, you will be making a difference in the lives of others and have a significant positive impact on their quality of life.
If you’re unfamiliar with care or starting a new role, it can however be quite daunting. You will play a large and important role in the lives of other people and will have to grow your skillset and take on new and unfamiliar responsibilities. You may not know what to expect or think that you don’t have the right skills to be successful in your role. To help all the new carers out there, we asked our Wellbeing Support Workers from our Oxfordshire teams for feedback and put together a list of top tips to help you get prepared for your new career!
1. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed
Being a carer means that no working day will be the same. It’s fine to have a plan so that you can best support the person you care for but remember that we are all human. There will be situations that are unexpected or that will catch you off-guard. This happens to all carers; you can’t be prepared for everything!
Every day is different, so you’ll never know what you’re walking into. Over time you will get to know the people you will be spending that time with, so it’s important to be flexible and person-centred. This way you can make meaningful memories and deep connections with the people we support, after all, they should always be at the centre of everything we do. (P.S hope you like tea, lots of tea).
Fraser – Oxford Team
2. Take care of yourself
If you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to assess the situation and remember your training. You are more than capable of dealing with any challenge your role throws at you.
Remember to take a moment if you find yourself getting stressed or exhausted. It’s not only important to look after the wellbeing of the person you care for, but also yourself. If you find yourself struggling, speak to your colleagues, family, or friends. There’s no reason to keep your problems locked away. You also shouldn’t feel pressured to do everything at once!
As a carer – you naturally want to help and do that bit extra. But know your limits. You don’t want to appear tired and stressed, you want to leave the people you care for feeling happy aware that you’ve enjoyed spending time with them. Not everyone will want your help, but those taking baby steps each time you visit can make such a difference in the long term.
Kelly – Witney Team
3. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself
Don’t forget about the difference you are making. You chose care to make an impact and connect with people, right? It’s easy to forget the reasons why you are there when stressed and under pressure. Remember to take a moment to recall the reasons you chose care as a career and take note of all the good that you are doing.
Enjoy it! It’s the most rewarding, challenging, exciting, emotional, and fulfilling role.
Kelly – Witney Team
4. Remember to be patient
Remember to be patient and try to be the best version of yourself. Try to keep an open mind and look at situations from the perspective of others. There will be times you feel frustrated but remember that you are there to help someone thrive. Support the person you are caring for as best you can, they will feel much more comfortable if you are relaxed and unflustered.
Always try to be warm, friendly, and smiley. I always try to be open-minded and have a very flexible approach, it’s important to think on your feet. Most of all, try to be empathetic, kind and an excellent listener.
Corinne – Oxford Team
5. Keep your mind open to experiences
Don’t go into your role with preconceived thoughts. Care is an extremely varied role, and what you do changes from day to day. Whether it’s personal care, taking someone for a day out, or just having a chat, each day will be a different experience. There may be situations where you feel uncomfortable, but you’ll soon get used to the new challenges and learn to enjoy them.
Ignore the stereotypical impressions you may have of caring. It is a really varied role.
Julie – Witney Team
6. Feel free to ask questions and learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. All you can do is continue to better yourself and learn from your experiences. You will always have people around you for guidance and support when you need it.
Never be afraid to ask for help. Ask as many questions as you need to. You never stop learning in care. Be prepared to use everyday skills and talents in your role.
Megan – Witney Team
7. Build a relationship!
Most importantly, build a relationship. Making a connection with someone is one of the most important things you can do as a carer. When you establish a level of trust, it helps the person you care for feel safer and happier. A trusted relationship also makes people more likely to open up and express themselves so you can learn more about their wants and needs. As a carer, this also makes your role more fulfilling, meaningful, and rewarding.
You build relationships that go beyond just “a job”. It is not your job to be a machine and get tasks done. It’s your job to be human and to go in with an open heart, open mind, and respect.
Jolene – Oxford Team
Being a carer can be tough. Remember to look after yourself, enjoy every day, and make the most of your experience. It’s your job to make sure people can thrive at home and live the life they want. As long as you have the right intentions you will succeed, no matter what your background is. At BelleVie, we hire based on values – not experience. Take a closer look at our roles if you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to be a carer, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get a closer look at some wonderful moments our Wellbeing Support Workers have created.