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What skills do I need for live-in care work?

What skills do I need for live-in care work?

When anyone thinks of applying for a new job, one of the first things that comes to mind is whether they will be suitable for that position. Live-in care is no different. If you are thinking about following this career you may well be asking this question.

So, what skills do you need for live-in care?

This is one of those jobs where you do not need any skills before you start. Having said that, there are plenty of skills which will come in very handy, and there are some which you must have if you are to succeed at this type of work.

Anything you need to learn, such as how to safely move a person from one place to the next, will be covered on your training, as will all the regulations regarding safeguarding vulnerable adults and how to handle medication.

While there is not supposed to be any physical work – as in picking up and carrying your client – in live-in care, there are always things like going up and down flights of stairs many times a day. It pays to be relatively fit and healthy to do this.

There is a certain amount of bending down and getting on your knees so this is one thing that you should be able to do without injuring yourself. This is not what I would class as a skill but a state of well-being.

Some skills you will need:

  • Cooking. This is vital. You will more than likely be asked to cook at least two meals, possibly three for yourself and your client. You need to have this skill in your bag so that you can produce a decent meal for both of you.
  • Listening. This is a skill which is often overlooked. There will be times when you should simply keep quiet and listen. This may be to the GP for his instructions, to the district nurse regarding dressings, or to the family and client concerning care procedures. Don’t be tempted to get your point across before you have heard the other side, particularly in the case of professional such as the doctor.
  • Driving. This may not be needed at every client that you care for, but if you do not have this skill, then you will be reducing your work opportunities. There are many clients who need help to get to doctor and hospital appointments and require someone to drive them there, so this is something you might want to consider.
  • Positive attitude. You can debate whether this is classed as a skill or not, but the fact is that it is an art to always look on the bright side, no matter what goes on. Client react to a good atmosphere and become more cheerful if you are positive about their condition. While care work often involves stressful periods, if you can keep positive, you will be in a better state of mind yourself to do the job.

To sum up

So, on reflection, the skills you need for live-in care work are not always obtained in a university or college, although they can be. They are skills which come from inside you and through your own life experiences. They contribute to the quality of your work. 

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