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Home Carer or Care Home?

(27 Posts)
hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Mon 27-Feb-17 20:59:16

Thinking of a future career in caring when the kids are older and wanting to hear of people's experiences of working in this sector?

purplecollar Mon 27-Feb-17 21:12:39

What have you done before?

I'm a graduate, worked in corporate finance then went to work as an HCA in a hospital for a few years, then to a private chain care home.

The hospital I found interesting, hard at times in terms of the amount of work required (never sat down) but I felt trained for it and supported. I enjoyed the job, working with the patients was really rewarding.

The care home - was absolutely hideous. I won't put details on a public forum. But I would be very wary of ever working for this organisation again. You can tell by looking at the job adverts. Those with a high turnover of staff have problems. The one I worked for has adverts for jobs all the time.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Mon 27-Feb-17 21:23:56

Purple Collar thanks for your reply.
My past work experience has been office based in health related fields however I have personal experience of caring for family members.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Mon 27-Feb-17 21:45:02

Purple Collar what do you do now?

purplecollar Mon 27-Feb-17 21:48:54

I think the thing I found most difficult is that I was managed by people who didn't care. How can we serve them food for £1 a day when they're paying £1000 a week. How can we eek out their pads i.e. not change them to save money. That's my experience of a nursing home. With half of the staff avoiding doing any work at all and getting away with it because the supervisors/managers were never trained to manage (generally nursing staff). I hope not all homes are like that.

Friends who worked with care visits in people's homes had a better experience I think. But the issues were to do with being left alone with aggressive people, not being paid for travel, being expected to fill in for those not turning up for work at short notice.

On the whole I think either hospital work or support working is better. Support working often involves being able to do control and restraint duties however. You get training for it but need to be reasonably fit.

It's a job I was never bored in - no two days are the same. But it's physically very tiring, you need to be fit. And the politics/management are frustrating. The patients make it really - that side of it was hugely rewarding.

purplecollar Mon 27-Feb-17 21:51:14

I came out of it after I complained about a colleague who mistreated a patient and the majority of the staff (including some nurse managers) sent me to Coventry. The employee was sacked for gross misconduct but I was seen as evil by the rest of the staff.

I then went to work as a medical secretary (I had previous secretarial experience).

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 08:31:29

Anyone else please?

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 08:36:39

Marking place to reply in detail to you later

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 09:14:46

Bobbiedog thank you

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 16:19:46

Interested in hearing from nurses too

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 16:50:21

I ve worked in homecare for 16 months, a dementia home for 16 months, a nursing home for 7 months and a residential home for 18 months.

I left the sector 6 years ago.


I loved this job! I liked that you was always out and about going from one person to another. The day went very fast and i worked on my own and only went into the office once a week. However it was hard to claim back the mileage that we were promised by the employer. You had to claim it back from HMRC who made it very difficult to claim it. The petrol had to come out of your hourly rate but i did get 30p extra per house that i went to ontop of the hourly rate. They generally pay about 60p extra an hour more than minimum wage.

You got hassled alot from the office to take on extra calls due to many staff phoning in sick at the weekends particularly if it was a nice summers day! This meant that if you took on extra clients for that day then you got moaned at alot by the clients as you were running late. You had to work 12 days on and then you got 2 days off but you were pressured heavily to work your days off. You also had a very tight schedule to work to as SS gave you a very limited time to do things. For example: to shower, dry and dress someone, make their bed, empty their comode, make their breakfast (cereal, toast and cup of tea) and fill in your book about your time there you was given 30 mins. If you went over your time then you would be questioned as to why its taking so long!

The dementia home:

The dementia home was a massive shock to me when i first started as i was not used to working with people who were so bad physically and mentally. There was alot of aggression from residents and everything was quite rushed to get everyone up and dressed ready for breakfast. Again staff rang in sick alot and the staff who had bothered to turn up was then having to work at twice the speed. This meant residents dont always get washed properly as carers are rushing. Its alot of bending, stretching, lifting etc and basically lugging heavy things about like wheelchairs, hoists etc.

The nursing home:

The nursing home was run by a matron and a team of nurses. The nurses felt that washing and dressing was beneath them and used to sit in the office alot. The beds were better as they were electric so saved you bending quite a bit. The rushed time schedule was the same as the dementia home. I didnt particularly like this home which is why i was only there for 7 months. It had a very old fashioned way of working which clashed with the way i had been taught in my NVQ.

The residential home:

This was very similar to the dementia home but with residents that werent as dependant as the other two homes although some residents were in here who really should of been nursing but they liked to keep nursing patients in a residential home as long as possible as nursing homes are around £300 a week more expensive than a residential home. Alot of families request that their loved ones dont move to a nursing home but i usually found this request unreasonable as in a residential home ratio being higher than a nursing home it was then extra work on the staff and we couldnt always provide the full care what they truely needed.

The rotas in care homes are given to you 3 days in advance for what you will be doing for the next week. Its impossible to plan anything more than a week in advance as you never knew what shifts you would be on. There is always the added pressure of being hassled to work your days off.

I now have a bad back and sciatica pain and need ongoing treatment for it. This is due to my time working in care homes in my early 20s.

I ve been out the care sector for 6 years now. The homes i work in were either rated good or outstanding. I know afew people still working in care homes (not the ones i ve worked in) and they are all the same as the ones i ve worked in.

You have to work every other weekend, bank holidays, easter, christmas, new year etc for time and a half pay. It ruins every social occasion. I worked 4 xmases in a row once. Its a very unsociable job.

I cant think of anything else to add.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 19:03:41

That's what puts me off, being pressured into doing extra hours as I can't do it, I have young children and my husbands job takes priority.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 19:07:45

I only want to do it part time if I do it not a lot of hours. One dc is at school.

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 21:01:38

Its rare to get a care home job during school hours as the hours are mornings, evenings, weekends etc. They dont employ people who are not flexible and you have to do weekends as it causes resentment with other staff who cant pick and choose their hours

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 21:04:32

For example you wouldnt be able to say im not doing christmas day etc.

You may get it off one year but you would have to do it the next or you would have to work new year if you have xmas day off.

I ve never worked with anyone in the care sector who has children under the age of 15

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 21:09:39

Thanks for all the info.

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 21:17:45

I know this may offend some people but if im honest its a last resort job. Anyone can get a job in a care home.

Its minimum wage, crap hours, hard work, lots of bitching about whos doing more than who etc.

Its not a career, getting an NVQ in the care sector may lead to nursing but thats it.

purplecollar Tue 28-Feb-17 21:21:50

Yes that's a fairly big thing actually. Christmas. if you don't work xmas day, you will boxing day. New years. All of the easter bank holidays. Its ok if you live, work, socialise fairly locally. But doesn't really work if you have relatives that need travel/overnight stays to.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 22:00:14

My mum is in a nursing home. She's only young. It's shit that she's there but it's a good home as homes go and they look after her and keep her comfortable. Her illness is advanced and she's not going to get better as it's progressive. I know what you mean about anyone getting a job. For me it's not about the money, I don't need it. I'm probably best volunteering tbh.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 22:02:11

The bitching you get in lots of jobs so that doesn't bother me tbh.

SuffolkBumkin Tue 28-Feb-17 22:10:12

Purplecollar and BobbieDog, I work in care, your experiences are spot on. Depressing reading but nice to hear others say out loud what I have been thinking for years.

BobbieDog Tue 28-Feb-17 22:15:24

It is depressing and unfortunately all care homes are the same.

Its a business to them, they want the rooms filled and the residents are like a conveyor belt. The aim is to go from one person to the next and get them done as quickly as possible.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Tue 28-Feb-17 22:20:03

Depressing yes but there are some good people/carers out there who we need to illeviate people's suffering.

purplecollar Tue 28-Feb-17 22:40:04

what's sad is that those of us who do care/ give a shit end up walking away. Due to in my case, trained nursing staff, not supporting us. They know it's wrong. But they just don't want the flack.

BobbieDog Wed 01-Mar-17 12:46:18

Most carers are in the job because they care however you cannot give the time and care that everyone needs as a care home will not allow one person taking their time whilst others are doing double the amount of residents.

For example you wash and dress 3 people in a care home
Another member of staff has done 6 people in the same time its taken you to do 3 i can guarantee you will be pulled into the office and accused of not pulling you weight or working too slowly.

Care homes are a business, they want rooms full and to employ as little staff as legally possible. Residents are treated as a someone who needs doing rather than an individual person with time consuming needs.

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