It gives you the unique opportunity to make a real difference to a person, supporting them in every aspect of their life.
Many family carers say the reason they care is simple: they need to look after their child, mother, husband or other relative. Some say they have never thought about why because 'blood is thicker than water' or 'he is my husband, who would care for him if I didn't?'.
Many parents make comments such as 'I am his mother, I should take responsibility and care for him'. Some feel that 'giving up 'on a relative would be 'like I disowned him'. For many people, being a family carer is part of their culture to feel responsibility for others. Some carers see it as a moral or religious duty to care, or they believe in the values of giving care and love to those who are ill or vulnerable.
Carers need to know they have 'done their best' to care. Being a carer is rewarding and many carers also take part in other types of voluntary work to help and to 'give something back' or because 'it is in my personality to try to help others'.
If you have a caring personality, a career as a carer may be perfect for you. Each carer role is different and each carer will have unique experiences. By being a carer you get the opportunity to support a person in their daily lives, face individual challenges and have a job that suits and fulfils you. As caring is such a unique and personal experience, we interviewed carers to see what qualities carers have.
When people described themselves and other carers, many talked about how carers are able to cope because they are strong people. Many described themselves as having 'a strong will,' as determined, or not being a 'giving up kind of person'. Several commented that caring 'comes from the heart' and requires passion and a wish to help others. Carers were also seen as people who wanted to tackle problems instead of ignoring them, and 'fight for the person you care for' to 'keep people alive'.
Being a carer is not an easy job. Other qualities people said carers need to have included 'understanding the restrictions of life', to not 'expect the earth' and to be able to put up with a lot of uncertainty and responsibility. Some said although they were 'reasonably confident', caring for someone with a mental health problem had really 'stretched' their personal resources. One or two said it was 'standing up for someone against the NHS' that had been the hardest battle.
Carers make a real difference to the lives of others. As a paid carer, it is great to work with an enthusiastic and dedicated team both out in client’s home and in the company’s offices.
Carers are able to receive specialist training in particular fields whether physical disability, learning disability, dementia care, substance misuse, mental illness or with specific medical conditions. There is a lot of flexibility about the work that is available. Most carers agree that they couldn’t do this job well if they were on their own.
Ever since I’ve worked as a professional carer, I’ve felt I’m part of a team and that we all work towards the welfare of the clients without forgetting about the carers’ well-being on the way. My manager keeps me motivated when things get difficult and lets me know when I’m doing a good job.