Image Source: FreeImages
Home care is an important part of the healthcare industry, and with demand for home carers remaining high, it’s a sector that is only going to become more important in the future. Working as a home carer can be very rewarding and personally fulfilling, but at the same time it comes with its own unique set of challenges. For example, you will likely need to meet strict eligibility criteria to qualify for home care services, your clients may have limited mobility which means you will need to take this into account when planning your daily activities with them, and there’s also plenty of other practical considerations such as keeping your car insured and ensuring your house is wheelchair accessible if you take clients on alternate days. In this article we explore all the ins and outs of becoming a freelance home carer so that you can make an informed decision.
Who can become a home carer?
There are no strict age restrictions when it comes to becoming a home carer, but there are certain health conditions that will prevent you from being able to work as a home carer. For example, if you develop a condition like diabetes you will probably need to test your blood sugar levels more frequently, which may make it challenging to work as a home carer as many people will be unable to test and treat their own blood sugar levels while they are working. In addition, you will need to be able to lift and carry patients of up to 19 stone in weight, which is the maximum weight you will be able to lift if you are working as a care assistant.
How to become a home carer?
The first step towards becoming a home carer is to visit your local council website and search for the term ‘home care’. You should find a page that outlines all of the different home care options available, including details about how to become a home carer and who you need to speak to. The second step is to contact your local council and request a home care application form. This form will ask you various questions about your personal circumstances, your health, and your availability so that they can decide if you are the right candidate.
The benefits of being a home carer
There are a number of benefits to becoming a home carer, including the flexible working hours and the fact that you get to choose your own clients. This means you can pick clients who are compatible with your schedule and you can build meaningful relationships with your clients as you see them on a regular basis. Home carers also earn a decent salary as the pay varies depending on where you live and the company you work for. In the UK, the average home carer salary is £13 per hour, which equates to just over £26,000 per year. In addition, many home carers are eligible for benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay, and pension contributions. Finally, home carers are the backbone of the healthcare industry, and as such the government is very committed to growing the sector to meet the growing demand for home care services. As such, there are plenty of career development opportunities within the home care sector, including options for promotion, training courses, and job rotations.
The drawbacks of being a home carer
While there are plenty of benefits to becoming a home carer, there are also some drawbacks to consider, including the fact that the work can be both physically and emotionally demanding. This is especially true if you work with clients who are terminally ill or have a degenerative disease, as you may need to provide them with emotional support in addition to the usual daily tasks associated with home care. In addition, while some home care companies will provide you with additional benefits such as travel expenses or a pension, many home carers are self-employed which means you will need to cover all of your own associated expenses.
Is becoming a home carer right for you?
If you are passionate about helping others, enjoy working with people, and have good organizational skills, then becoming a home carer may be a great career path for you. Home carers are the backbone of the healthcare industry, and as such there are plenty of employment opportunities within the sector. In addition, the home care sector is growing as the UK population ages, which means there is ample opportunity for career development. Finally, as many home care services are regulated by the government, it means that there are strict quality standards in place to ensure that all home carers are qualified and meet a certain standard. This means that if you become a home carer, you will be able to provide your clients with the reassurance that they are receiving top-quality care.