Residential care assistant case study

Residential care assistant, Durham social

I have worked as a care assistant for 16 years
in homes for the elderly. My job entails attending to the physical,
therapeutic and personal needs of the residents in a home for older
people under supervision of the appropriate supervisory officer. I
would contribute to the social activities and the mental
stimulation of the residents. I would assist with the personal
dressing, washing, bathing, toilet and personal needs of the
residents. Bed making, mending linen and clothing for residents is
included in my duties, as is cleaning wardrobes and cupboards for
the residents periodically. I also have to change clothing and
sluice clothing for incontinent residents. I monitor continence,
cleanliness, clothing, storing of medicines by residents and the
storage of flammable materials. I would administer drugs to
residents in certain circumstances. I help with the serving and
distribution of meals and clearing away after meals. This includes
the monitoring of food intake and eating habits of residents. I
have to be aware of the health and safety at work and fire
prevention policies.

I am paid £5.51 per hour.

I started work through a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in the

Although I have always had a part-time contract in reality I
have always worked 37 hours per week covering for vacant posts. For
the past two years I have also “acted up” as an
assistant manager to cover holidays etc.

I have two children at primary school. Two years ago my marriage
ended and I became the single provider for my children as I
received no maintenance from their father. This meant that I had to
re-evaluate my life in terms of providing for my children and my
career. I am now in the benefit trap that means that I have to work
over 16 hours per week, but the more hours that I work the more it
will affect my family tax credit, which means that effectively my
career is on hold.

The satisfaction that I get from my job is that I enjoy working
with my client group and my colleagues. Because of my job I enjoy
benefits such as sick pay and access to a pension scheme.

The downside to my job is in terms of balancing work and family
commitments especially the unsocial hours. For example, if I am
starting my shift at 7am I have to take my children to my mother
for 6.30am; if I am on a late shift I do not collect them from my
mother’s until 10.15 pm when they are usually asleep on her
couch, and then I have to take them home to their own beds, which
often means that they have to be woken up. The reason that I work
the unsociable hours is that for doing so I receive enhanced
payment which improves my financial earnings.

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