For people with caring, sharing and compassionate personalities, pursuing a job as a carer often seems like the natural choice. Being a carer means helping people who have difficulties with their everyday activities, and there are so many career options available in the caring profession - from working in care homes with elderly people, to supporting young people with disabilities in their daily lives at home.
Those of us who are already in the caring profession will surely agree that being a carer can be a tough job at times, and that it’s not for everyone – but in spite of its challenges, it’s perhaps the most fulfilling and rewarding job that you could possibly do. If you are planning to become a professional carer, whichever path you take, you’ll soon discover why so many people just adore their carer jobs.
Whether we’re known as ‘carers’, ‘care assistants’, ‘care workers’, or ‘support workers’, the essence of our roles is the same: to provide care for people who need a level of support in their daily lives.
This means helping them in practical ways, from carrying out daily tasks errands to assisting with eating, bathing and dressing, but the help that carers give often takes a more emotional form. As carers we’re helping people to become and stay mentally stimulated, active and engaged with others, which helps them to retain their dignity and confidence.
Being a carer is one of the most rewarding jobs ever. Nothing beats seeing your residents smiling and laughing! :)— Lana (@lanananabatman) 6 May 2015
For ourselves as professional carers, there are so many benefits. It’s an incredibly satisfying job, and there are never-ending opportunities to learn new skills and develop yourself as an individual. No two days are the same, and it can also be very sociable, with many carers saying that they become firm friends with those who they care for – and even spending their spare time with them too!
While carers come in many different forms, there are certain personality traits that many carers have in common. These include being sympathetic and empathetic, being deeply sensitive and tactful, a warm, friendly and patient nature, and a great sense of humour – essential for dealing with difficult situations.
But while professional carers may love their jobs that they have chosen for themselves, it’s important to also remember that there are many, many people who care for a living, but don’t always receive a pay cheque for their hard work at the end of the month.
While many of us carers have chosen to make a profession out of caring for other people, there is a very large number of people who have found themselves having to become carers for someone they love. Up to 6.5million people in Britain are believed to be unpaid carers, and can spend anything from a few hours a week providing support to a friend or family member who may be experiencing a period of illness, to around-the-clock care to someone you know who has become disabled or seriously ill, without any external support or financial aid.
Carer’s Week, which takes place annually, was created to raise awareness of our country’s unpaid carers and recognise the unique challenges that they face, as well as the contributions that they make not only to the lives of those they care for, but to the wider community.
The theme of Carer’s Week 2016, which takes place between 6-12th June 2016, is to encourage the creation of Carer Friendly Communities. The vision for these communities is that they make carers feel supported to look after the person they provide care for, but also recognise that they have their own needs as an individual too.
Being an unpaid carer can be a wonderful and rich experience, especially when you are working to improve the life of someone you love, but many unpaid carers don’t seek out the right advice and support from carer services that they need. This can have a very negative effect on their lives, with many unpaid carers finding themselves experiencing social isolation, ill health, and even poverty. The Carers Trust is a charity dedicated to helping unpaid carers get the important support that they need in these cases.
I love being a carer...such a rewarding job to do. Better then being sat down at a computer all day.— Soph Bressington♥ (@sophiebressing1) 16 January 2016
On the Carer Friendly Communities page, you can see the list of hundreds of local organisations, employers and services that have pledged to become carer friendly. This is in many different ways, from offering free training to local unpaid carers so that they can provide safe and proper care, to offering free beauty pampering sessions or food tasting events for carers so they can enjoy some much-deserved ‘me time’.
I swear being a carer is one of the hardest, most entertaining and most rewarding job their is. #love— jasmine (@jasmineogilvie1) 19 February 2016
So whether you’ve made a career out of caring, or caring for a loved one has become a part of your everyday life, you’re sure to agree that being a carer is not without its challenges. However, when you have the right support and help that you need, dedicating your life to taking care of others can be incredibly fulfilling, and as you can see from the tweets above from carers, many people wouldn’t have their lives any other way.
What are your favourite things about being a carer, and what made you choose to become one? Will you be getting involved in Carer’s Week 2016? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts as we would love to hear from you.