Working in home care vs. residential care

Carers work in a variety of settings. Home care staff visit clients to deliver care in the comfort of their own house, while residential carers usually work at one dedicated care home or a network of homes run by one company.

While the way care is delivered is similar, there are key differences in each working environment that means some people are better suited to home care and others prefer working in a care home.

Read on to find out what those differences are and whether a career as a home carer is right for you.

Promoting independence

One of the main differences is the flexibility that being a home carer offers. You can feel more in control of your workday, travelling from place to place with clients who you regularly care for. The pace of work is more manageable compared to a residential care home where you are caring for multiple people with varying needs, all at the same time, in one location.

The working environment is another big difference. By receiving care in their own homes, people feel far more independent than if they were moved elsewhere. As a result home carers find the recipients to be much more relaxed as they’re receiving care on their own terms. 

As a carer, the goal is to give someone the best quality of life possible. Knowing that they’re in the place where they feel happiest and that you are supporting them can help to make the role feel far more rewarding. 

Spending more time with clients

In a residential care home, the pace is dictated by the number of residents, staff and what’s happening on any given day. As a result, it can feel like you don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time with every resident. As a home carer you are supporting clients at a far more measured pace, giving them exactly the level of care they’ve requested.

As a result, you know that you are providing the recipient with the care that they need, without being rushed, or held back by the pressures of having to deal with a high volume of people in a short amount of time.

Also, in residential care homes, people will only have a few personal pictures in their rooms from their life before, whereas their actual homes are filled with their memories and personality. 

This makes it far easier to build a stronger relationship and the work becomes more about the individual that you are caring for. And, if they have any pets, then you get to help them too. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it – those dogs won’t stroke themselves!

A strong support network

Another difference is the support network available to you in home care. The role of a carer, though rewarding, can be challenging, and sometimes you can have a difficult time with someone. In a residential care home, you can’t step away from that and have to return the next day, regardless of what you’re going through. 

With home care you have a support network behind you. If you feel overwhelmed by an incident you can talk to the management team about what happened and they can schedule someone else to care for the client in the short term or going forwards. 

This way, the individual still receives the highest quality of care, but the carer is looked after too and knows how important they are.

So if you’re interested in making the switch from residential care, or have any questions regarding a career in home care, visit our careers page to find out more or give us a call on 01254 504905.