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Social care in the community
Social care in the community

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A home carer’s job

In this activity you explore what it’s like to be a home care worker and a user of home care services. You will observe visits by home care workers to four clients of the Cardiff-based agency, Somebody Cares.

Activity 2 The home carer’s job

Timing: Allow about 1 hour

Somebody Cares provided personal care, domestic help and support with the activities of daily life such as shopping. Since these videos were made, Somebody Cares was sold on to another company and then was shut down when the company reorganised

In this activity, think about the following questions.

  1. What does the home carer’s job involve?
  2. What skills does it take to do the job and manage relationships?

Task 1 Getting to know the case study

Start by familiarising yourself with the Somebody Cares case study in Video 1. Watch the whole case study right through, so that you get to know the people involved, including their different:

  • care needs
  • forms of support provided
  • domestic situations.
Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1 Somebody Cares case study
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Video 1 Somebody Cares case study
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Now that you have viewed the whole case study, it’s time to focus in more closely.

Task 2 Focusing in on the job of home carer

Revisit each of the four cases in the video.

As you watch each one, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What work does the home carer do for the client?
  • What practical skills do they need?
  • How would you describe their attitude to the job?

Use the text boxes below each video to record your answers. While you are working on a case, use the menu at the bottom of the screen to pause the video. You will probably need to watch each case through more than once.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2 Case 1: Kevin and Elvis visit Brian
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Video 2 Case 1: Kevin and Elvis visit Brian
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Download this video clip.Video player: Video 3 Case 2: Liz visits Clarice
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Video 3 Case 2: Liz visits Clarice
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Download this video clip.Video player: Video 4 Case 3: Elvis goes with Aerwyn to his class
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Video 4 Case 3: Elvis goes with Aerwyn to his class
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Download this video clip.Video player: Video 5 Case 4: Maria goes shopping with Lyn
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Video 5 Case 4: Maria goes shopping with Lyn
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Discussion

Here are our thoughts. Again, don’t worry if they are different from yours.

Table 2
Elvis and Kevin with BrianLiz with ClariceElvis with AerwynMaria with Lyn
What work do they do for the client?Move Brian with hoist, wash and dress him, prepare breakfastMake bed, help wash and dress, bath twice a week, shoppingAccompany Aerwyn to computer class and snookerAccompany Lyn and help with shopping as directed
What practical skills do they need?Use hoist, help Brian to feel safe as they wash him, basic cooking, health and safety knowledgeDomestic skills, social skillsSocial skills, keeping Aerwyn company, supporting him without taking overMainly social skills
How would you describe their attitude to the job?Very professional, but also friendly, see themselves as supporting June’s carer role, with defined roles and responsibilitiesReady to be flexible and friendly, but also very professional and clear about boundary between work and friendshipReady to be flexible (e.g. abandons uniform at Aerwyn’s request), but clear about boundary between work and friendshipMaria carefully follows Lyn’s instructions, they have a cup of coffee together, but both know it is a working relationship