A personal care assistant has a diverse and ever-changing role, ensuring no two days are the same. The supportive position is one which requires a special kind of person to fill.
Everyone’s journey to becoming a personal care assistant is different. Whether you have always been passionate about helping others, or you cared for a family member in the past, a career as a personal care assistant is extremely rewarding and a great career option.
What does a career as a personal care assistant involve?
In short, a personal care assistant provides care for those who need additional support to complete daily activities. The career combines a range of tasks and expertise in a variety of fields. These tasks all need to be completed with responsibility, care and flexibility. The career is also extremely unique because you have the opportunity to provide emotional support for the person in your care.
Although a client may live in their own home, they may not be able to keep up-to-date with daily tasks and may need a helping hand in order to keep their independence for as long as possible. This means, depending on the health of the client, the duties you will need to complete as a personal care assistant may include light cleaning, cooking, running errands and washing laundry.
Ensuring the personal health of the client
Another aspect of care is the personal health of the client. Depending on the health of your client and level of support they need, you may be called upon to assist in showering, bathing and personal hygiene tasks. In some cases, you may also be responsible for dispensing the client’s medicine and ensuring they take medication at the right time.
Emotional and mental wellbeing support
Ensuring your patients have an active mind is important in all stages of life, therefore, providing emotional and mental wellbeing support for your client will be a vital part of your role as a personal care assistant. This can involve simple things like chatting with your client over a cuppa, listening as they share stories and memories, and providing emotional support. Other aspects of the role can also include reading to the client or even playing a card or board game with them.
Responsibility is paramount as a personal care assistant. As someone in the health care industry, you will be responsible for the wellbeing of the elderly person or client in your care. Therefore, you will be responsible for making sure they look after their personal hygiene, eat the required amount of food and take their medications on time. Often when a client can see that you are diligent and responsible, they will have more trust in you which will allow your professional relationship to develop.
Flexibility is another incredibly large part of a career as a personal care assistant. Depending on the day, time and client, anything can happen throughout your shift. This means you have to be willing to go with the flow and adapt to changing situations. Being ready and willing to work with your client, when and where they need your help will allow them to instil trust in you and your work.
Respect and patience
When someone needs the help of a personal care assistant, they are often losing or have lost mobility and/ or mental capacity. Losing this independence is a difficult, frustrating and life-changing situation for the client, and their families. This means throughout your shifts, things may not go to plan, clients may voice their anger, or they may not be able to complete tasks. It is of the utmost importance that during this time of change, your client is supported and treated with respect.
If you are interested in becoming a personal care assistant, get in touch with Career Keys and talk to one of our friendly staff about a gaining a qualification in aged care.