What Is Companion Care?
Companion care is different from personal care in that it involves non-medical and non-personal care tasks. It focusses on companionship, housekeeping, social needs, and anything else that isn’t considered personal or medical care. Personal care involves helping someone with bathing, dressing, and toileting needs, but companion care focuses more on helping your customer to socialise and enjoy their home. If you become a companion carer you may undertake housework, such as dusting, vacuuming, cleaning, or preparing meals. You may also take your customer shopping, to appointments and activities, to walk their dog, or support them in their hobbies.
What Is The Importance Of Companion Care?
Companion care is essential to ensure that people don’t become isolated at home. It can be very easy for older people especially to go some time without seeing anyone, perhaps because their family live some distance away and they no longer have the social interaction of a workplace. Having a companion carer can therefore make all the difference to a person, even if it’s only once a week for a coffee and a chat.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting A Job In Companion Care?
Getting a job in companion care can be incredibly rewarding, as you’ll spend time with our amazing customers – keeping them company and tidying their homes so they’ll be happy and comfortable in their surroundings. Whether you enjoy your current job or not, you’ll never look back once you become a companion carer, as you’ll wake up in the morning full of enthusiasm for the day ahead, knowing you’re making a real difference to the people you visit. Because companion care roles are available on both a visiting care and live-in care basis, you might find your customer would prefer you live in their home with them. This gives you an even better opportunity to get to know them and discover their likes and preferences, soon becoming firm friends.
Ideal Companion Carer Qualities
To be a carer in any capacity there are essential personal qualities, as you need to care about people’s wellbeing and be committed to doing the best job you can for them. There are other qualities that stand-out carers have though, including:
Being compassionate and empathetic
It’s obvious that if you want to care for others you need to have a caring nature, and being able to put yourself in someone else’s place and therefore identify with how they’re feeling is an essential skill for a prospective carer. Being a carer can be hard – there will be good and bad days and some will be challenging, however by calling on your naturally compassionate nature you will always keep your customer at the centre of their care journey and ensure their wellbeing is your number one priority.
Your customer may take a long time to complete certain tasks, depending on the condition they’re living with, and if you’re pressed for time it may be really tempting to finish things for them. This is counter-productive though, because by encouraging your customer to complete tasks for themselves, they will retain more independence in their own home, and achieving that is an essential part of our job. Patience will serve you as a companion carer and sharpen your planning skills if you need to organise a schedule for your customer that runs like clockwork.
Caring isn’t a job for someone who isn’t prepared to work hard – you may be undertaking all sorts of tasks for your customer, sometimes in a relatively short period. Therefore, you need to be prepared to work hard to achieve all the goals set in your customer’s support plan, whether you’re with them for a visit or you are living-in every day. Your customer will have certain standards that they’re used to living by and may demand those standards of you as well, whether it’s vacuuming and dusting several rooms or cleaning out the budgie cage.
Our customers are wonderful and are often older people with amazing stories to tell. Many of our customers have got where they are in life through sheer hard work and determination which means they may not be a shrinking violet! Your customer may have had many people under them at work and been widely respected in their field, which means they’re not afraid to tell you if they’re not happy with something you’ve undertaken for them. Just because your customer is a strong character doesn’t mean you should accept harsh criticism or be belittled in your workplace though, so if you feel you’ve been unfairly critiqued, have the confidence to stand up for yourself while remaining respectful, and speak to your manager if you’re not happy about something.
Ability to listen and communicate
Listening to your customer’s wants and needs is a vital part of the caregiver’s job, and one that you will need to be good at if you’re to succeed. Communication takes many forms and you will have to ensure you are communicating with your customer in a way that suits them if you’re to develop a successful working relationship. Listening to someone and actually hearing them are two different abilities, and it’s really important to make sure your customer feels that their needs are being understood and respected.
Companion Care Jobs With Us
Working for Helping Hands, you’ll quickly get a feel for the sort of company we are – established as a family concern in 1989, we were based on firm family values and putting people first, and we still stand by those values today. We’ve grown to have over 160 branches across England and Wales, so we’re a major player in the UK care industry, however that doesn’t mean we’ve lost sight of what we were when we began more than 30 years ago. We still own every one of our branches as we don’t believe franchising would allow us to maintain our high standards and provide the consistency of care we demand. Each of our branches has a dedicated local care team who are passionate about ensuring our customers receive exactly the kind of care they need, and providing you feel the same, you’ll fit right in. Search our current vacancies for visiting and live-in care jobs in your area, or pop into your local branch and have a chat about what you could bring to the team.
Companion Care Screening Process
Step One – Apply online
Make sure you research the role first to ensure it’s the right job for you. You’ll find everything you need to know on our website and make sure you check out independent reviews on job sites as we’ve got thousands of carers who wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!
You’ll be asked some questions to see how well you understand the role of a companion carer, such as how you’d handle challenging situations or communicate with your customer. You should find these fairly straightforward as long as you’ve done your research or have previous experience in a caring role.
You must have the right to work in the UK to be a Helping Hands companion carer. We’ll also request an enhanced DBS check and two external references as part of your pre-employment checks.
If you’re successful this far, you’ll be invited to an assessment day at your local branch or a residential assessment course for live-in carers. You’ll learn essential skills that will support you in your role as a Helping Hands carer and meet other people just starting as carers with us, allowing for valuable networking opportunities.
Begin your new role!
Congratulations, you’re now a Helping Hands carer! Understandably, you’ll be a bit nervous before meeting your first customer, but you’ll have all the support you need from your amazing branch colleagues, managers, and the support office team. You must ask for help if you need it and listen carefully to people who’ve been in your shoes, as they’ll be invaluable in their support and advice.
Interested In Companion Care Jobs?
If you’d like to discover more about companionship care roles with Helping Hands, just research our website carefully and when you’re ready, press apply! You can also visit your local branch, where the team will be happy to chat with you about what roles they’re looking to fill.