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What Are Care Assistant Duties and Responsibilities? A Guide

George Griffiths

22 December 2020

What Are Care Assistant Duties and Responsibilities? A Guide

George Griffiths

22 December 2020

If you’re eager to find out more about the role of a care assistant and what the main duties of a care assistant are, we’re here to help. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the kind of tasks care professionals undertake on a daily basis, what it takes to become a care assistant, and what personal qualities mean a care assistant can provide top-quality care for clients.

What is a care assistant? Why do people decide to become care assistants?

Care work can be a highly rewarding job, allowing people to make a real positive difference within their communities. 

Care work is all about improving day-to-day life and living standards for others, and enabling people to overcome the challenges that they face every day. 

A care worker’s clients can vary, from caring for people with long-term illnesses, to disabled individuals, elderly people, and people living with learning difficulties.

Care assistants can either provide care in the person’s home (also called domiciliary care), or within a care home setting.

What are the main care assistant duties?

Key care assistant duties include a range of tasks people cannot do or struggle to do themselves. Essentially, care assistants are tasked with making their clients’ lives as easy as possible.  

Tasks can include shopping, helping the client to go to the toilet, doing washing, housework, paying bills and dressing. 

A care assistant may also accompany their clients on days out and help them to attend social events.

However, the duties carried out by care workers will depend on which clients they’ve been assigned to help. For example, some carers provide round-the-clock living care, whilst others may work part-time where required.

Offering emotional support

While care assistants tend to carry out various practical duties, they may also be required to help support people emotionally. 

This can have a very positive impact on the mental health of the person receiving care.

Keeping someone company and giving them someone to talk to can ensure they have a valuable source of comfort, and can ward off feelings of loneliness and helplessness.

Challenging yet rewarding

Care assistants often have to think on their feet as they may be faced with a range of unforeseen tasks that require quick solutions. 

They also need to carry out their duties whilst keeping the client comfortable and maintaining their dignity. 

What kind of traits do care workers need?

To offer the right standard of care, care assistants must be very patient and able to communicate with people from all walks of life. 

In this way, a good sense of humour is also very useful. As they spend so much time with their clients, care assistants must be able to form good relationships with them. 

If a client cannot bond with their care worker, this could cause problems as a client’s relationship with their care worker may be the most important in their life. 

Care workers also need to be incredibly kind and empathetic. If someone lacks a caring personality, they likely won’t be able to carry out their care assistant duties to the expected standard.

What duties and responsibilities do live-in care assistants have?

Live-in carers are often assigned to clients living with conditions such as dementia, which can make living alone or living without additional support dangerous.

Live-in carers normally live with their clients for a maximum of three months. However, they are only expected to provide eight hours of care each day. 

During the rest of their time they will have more freedom, but will need to be on-call in case their services are required. 

There is typically a three or four-hour window where the carer doesn’t need to be on-call. 

What duties and responsibilities do live-in carers have?

Live-in carers often help with care assistant duties like washing and dressing as well as household chores. 

They may cook for their client and ensure they take their medication at the right time. 

In addition, many live-in carers need driving licences so they can transport their clients to places that they need to be. 

Many live-in carers say no two days are the same. This is because each day can be more varied than you might expect, especially if their client wishes to maintain an active social life.

It’s common for care assistants to accompany their clients on day trips, which can involve long journeys to other towns and cities. Some carers even accompany their clients on holiday.

What do care companies look for in a care assistant?

Companies that employ care workers tend to look for staff with a caring, patient and friendly nature. 

Although care workers’ duties can be very challenging, they can also be highly fulfilling and rewarding. 

It’s worth noting that the job can be distressing, especially when offering end-of-life palliative care and so resilience and adaptability are key traits care providers will look for.

Nevertheless, knowing you’ve helped someone feel as comfortable as possible during their final days can be highly consoling.

Other benefits of care work

There are many other reasons why someone may choose to become a care worker. 

Care work keeps vulnerable people safe and helps them to remain as independent as possible. Care employees can even build a robust bond with their client and add a great deal of value to their lives.

Care workers can enjoy flexible hours depending on the client, choosing how many hours they want to work and how much time they want to take off between assignments.

A flexible career choice

Care work can also fit around commitments like study and caring for children during the holidays. 

If the employee is new to the world of care, they may receive on-the-job training to improve their skills as their career progresses. 

There are many opportunities for career progression, and care assistants could become care managers once they’ve gained sufficient experience.

A diverse range of challenges

In the role of a care assistant, employees will be able to deploy their skills in a range of different environments and meet a diverse range of people. 

They’ll become more resilient and adaptable as a result of their care assistant duties, with many care workers becoming more effective at dealing with life challenges both in and out of the workplace. 

Many care workers cite experiencing a great deal of job satisfaction, knowing they are making an exceptional contribution to society. 

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