Becoming a home helper can be extremely rewarding, but not everyone is cut out for the role. If you’re considering entering the industry and want to know if you’ve got what it takes, read this article to discover ten of the main qualities successful home helpers possess.
Each year, home care is provided to more than 350,000 older people and 76,300 younger people with disabilities in the UK. It’s estimated that around 249 million hours of home care are delivered every year and most of this involves help with eating, washing and dressing. However, home helpers also provide reablement services when people leave hospital and assist people with learning disabilities to live independently.
While being a home helper is an extremely rewarding profession, it can also be challenging at times due to the nature of the role. You’re responsible for providing care for the most vulnerable people in society and are there to maximise their quality of life while showing respect and compassion. Therefore, only certain people possess the necessary qualities needed to be an exceptional home helper. If you’re considering becoming a home helper or starting a home care franchise, read on to find out 10 of the most important qualities home care providers need to possess.
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Why are home helpers important?
Home helpers provide a flexible solution to care. While care homes are a much more permanent answer to senior care, home care can be offered without a long-term commitment. Support can be provided for any duration from 15 minutes up to 24 hours a day and anywhere in between.
Whatever the type of care a client needs, the environment in which they receive it has a huge impact on their mindset and healing process. Home helpers allow for personalised care to be provided in the comfort of their clients’ own homes with their loved ones around them and in a familiar setting.
Receiving home care services helps clients keep their independence and dignity intact. What’s more, family members and friends can pop by without the restrictions of hospital visiting hours.
The 10 qualities of a successful home helper
Being dedicated to your role as a home helper is crucial. Many individuals choose to join the profession because they feel like it was what they were born to do and caring for people comes naturally to them.
Home helpers become the people that clients’ loved ones look to in times of need. Therefore, being able to put clients’ needs first and allowing for the role to become part of their identity is what makes the most successful home helpers.
Closely linked to the above, being passionate about the role is what makes the most exceptional home helpers. While skills and experience are important to provide a high quality, professional service, actually caring about having a long-lasting positive impact on your clients and within the care community is paramount.
When dealing with older clients whose mental capacities and independence have reduced, it’s important not to come across patronising. Remember they have a lot of life experience and were once able to be independent. You need to be able to connect with them as people not just as another client who needs care.
Home helpers are responsible for making sure their clients take medication, attend appointments, and have enough to eat and drink. The effects of these not being completed can be extremely problematic.
As well as basic activities of daily living, clients will rely on you for social interaction. You might not think that changing a routine last minute is a big deal, but for your client it can have significant consequences on their physical and mental health.
5. Work well under pressure
Home helpers are often very busy and have to juggle time constraints with providing the best possible care. Also, your clients’ health needs will be constantly changing, so home helpers need to be able to adapt to these as well as tackle the ongoing balancing act of time and quality of care.
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When providing home care, what you might think is a simple task can end up taking much longer. Clients can also experience frequent memory lapses and become irritated or frustrated with you. The best care agencies will provide home helpers that can handle each situation that arises calmly. Getting flustered or becoming angry at the client isn’t going to help the situation.
The best home helpers put themselves in their client’s shoes and keep this at the forefront of their mind. Think about how you would feel and react during certain situations so you can provide the support you’d want to receive to your clients.
It’s possible that your clients’ mental or physical health can deteriorate over time, and it’s important to notice these signs early. Never dismiss your client eating less, losing or gaining weight, becoming more confused etc. Be sure to report this to their loved ones or a medical professional.
9. A sense of humour
It’s true what they say - laughter really is the best medicine in some circumstances. Of course, you need to treat your clients professionally, but making them smile really can make a huge difference to their well-being. It’s important to remain a positive influence at all times.
10. Open minded
Your clients will be from diverse backgrounds, and this means you’ll need to treat religious, cultural and behavioural differences with respect. No matter their beliefs or lifestyle, it’s your duty to make sure they receive their care with dignity and to a high standard.
Becoming a home helper- it isn’t for everyone
As you can see there are lots of essential qualities that you need to possess to become a successful home helper, and this list isn’t exhaustive either! Remember professional skills can be learned, but it’s the people skills that often make for exceptional home helpers.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, you might want to consider working for a care agency franchise or even starting your own home helper franchise. We have heaps of opportunities to choose from; simply click here to get started.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©