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What are the duties of a care assistant?

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Care assistants play a vital role within care home settings, helping to ensure residents are comfortable, happy and safe. The duties carried out by care assistants can vary depending on the type of care required, such as 24 hour care. Here at Fonthill House, we’ve put together a list of typical care assistant duties so you can really get a feel for what’s involved on a daily basis.

Assisting residents in all aspects of their care needs

Whether you work as a day care assistant, night care assistant or 121 care assistant, your main duty will be to provide the highest possible levels of care to the residents. It’s important that residents feel supported and receive direct assistance with any daily tasks they may struggle with. Typical tasks that you may be required to assist with include washing, dressing, using the toilet, eating, drinking, taking medication and moving around the home (for those with limited mobility).

However, a care assistant doesn’t only provide physical care. Many residents will also require emotional care too. This includes listening to their concerns, comforting them during hard times and helping to put a smile on their faces. 

Some residents may miss their families, whilst others may be dealing with an illness or neurological condition, which is why being there to talk and listen is so important. Focusing on the wellbeing and mental health of those you work with will in turn help to improve their quality of life. 

Providing end of life care assistance and support

You’ll also be required to assist with the care of people who have a progressive illness or are nearing the end of their life. As a care assistant, it’s crucial that you ensure all residents maintain their dignity, even at the end of their lives. You’ll need to give them companionship, dedicated care and emotional support, all whilst keeping their cultural, spiritual and personal beliefs and wishes in mind. 

No matter what type of care is required, you should still seek to provide every resident with a high quality of life in a comfortable environment.

Of course, providing palliative care for the first time can be difficult and emotional. That’s why it’s important to receive the right training from the care home, to equip you with the skills and knowledge required. You’ll also receive support from senior members of the care team, should you wish to speak to anyone or seek further advice.

Completing daily records in line with company policies

When working as a care assistant, you’ll also be required to carry out some admin work. This involves reviewing care plans and completing daily records. These tasks are essential for ensuring organisation and efficiency within the care home. Some residents will have specific medication requirements, while others may need their physical health to be regularly monitored. For this reason, it’s vital that all tasks are carried out as and when they should be, ensuring the health and safety of every resident.

Whilst each resident will have a dedicated care plan, these won’t stay the same forever. If conditions progress or care needs change, this will need to be reflected within the plan. By making certain daily records are completed and all other company policies are followed, you’ll be able to ensure each resident receives the right care at the right time.

Helping residents to undertake social activities and hobbies

Mental health is just as important as physical health. To keep residents happy and mentally stimulated, you’ll need to help assist with social activities and hobbies. Whether this is escorting them to movie night or joining in with some arts and crafts, you’ll be there to make sure they can take part in enjoyable activities.

Since everyone is different, you’ll need to get to know the likes and dislikes of those you work with. Uncovering their interests and passions is a great way to build up a relationship and help them feel more at home. It may be the case that they’d like you to join them in a favorite hobby of theirs that isn’t yet offered by the care home. 

Some people may love socialising with lots of residents, whilst others may prefer some one-on-one time with their care assistant. You’ll need to bear such preferences in mind when planning their daily activities.

Working as a care assistant is a fulfilling and truly rewarding experience. For more information on our open positions, visit our careers page or get in touch

What skills and qualifications do i need to become a care assistant?

To become a care assistant, you typically need good communication and interpersonal skills, empathy, willingness, a caring nature and the ability to follow instructions. 

While formal qualifications may not be mandatory, you may be expected to have strong literacy and numeracy skills – and/or GCSEs (or their equivalent) in English and mathematics. Additionally, you might require a healthcare-related qualification, such as a BTEC or NVQ, as part of the hiring criteria.

Many employers provide on-the-job training and support to gain relevant skills and knowledge.

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