Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Understanding the role of a home carer

Offering care to those in need can be a hugely rewarding career choice that comes with numerous benefits - both professional and emotional.

Home care, in particular, covers a diverse and broad spectrum that deals with a range of people who require different levels and amounts of care. Unsurprisingly, the majority of seniors (or those over 65) would opt to stay in their own home rather than move into residential care. But when age, illness or other difficulties set in, running a home and even basic living can be at best problematic and at worse dangerous.

This is when the need for a home carer can arise. But if home caring is a profession in which you are interested, then it's important to fully understand the role of a home carer and know what the requirements are in embarking upon a career in this area.

Understanding the role of a home carer

The role

Home carers can expect to visit people in need in their own homes. Their visits might range from a few times a day to a few times a week. In some cases, the client may even require 24 hour care in which case the carer would 'live-in' with them. Although home carers often do not offer medical healthcare or assistance (this generally falls to a district nurse or qualified therapist), their duties are vital in the day to day wellbeing of their clients.

They may range from helping the client in and out of bed to assisting with personal hygiene. Household chores, preparing meals and helping keep 'house admin' (such as bills and shopping) in order. Although medical assistance is beyond the scope of the role, a home carer may be responsible for giving medicine or collecting prescriptions from a pharmacy. In some cases, they may also be needed to assist the client to attend relevant social groups or take them for walks.

In short, a carer's duty is to provide a unique service to each client depending on their needs, abilities and lifestyle, ensuring the comfort and safety of the client in their own home.


While there are no fixed academic entry requirements to the caring profession, it is beneficial to have some relevant training qualifications such as health and safety, food hygiene and so forth. A qualification in health and social care would also undoubtedly be looked upon favourably by potential employers. Expect background checks such as DBS checks to be carried out as well.

Understanding the role of a home carer


Caring in any guise is an incredibly personal service and so your nature and personality will play a huge part. Going into someone's home in order to help and care for them is huge responsibility that requires trust and kindness. You should be patient, well organised and a good communicator who is ideally able to put someone at ease. Multi-tasking and attention to detail are also important skills in this line of work.

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