Carer’s Week 2022: 5 Myths About Working in Social Care You Shouldn’t Believe

By Will Donnelly, Co-Founder and Care Expert at Lottie (www.lottie.org)

New research from Lottie has found a surge of online searches for people exploring a new career in the elderly care sector over the last three months:
– 67% increase in online searches on Google for ‘elderly support worker’
– 40% increase in online searches on Google for ‘first day working in a care home’
– 24% increase in online searches on Google for ‘care home agency jobs’

Will Donnelly explains why there’s been a surge of people joining the elderly care sector:
“The elderly care sector is an attractive industry to work in. No two days are ever the same, and it provides people with the flexibility of working different hours.

The last few years have been uncertain for everyone, particularly for the older generation and those working with them. The pandemic led to care staff being re-defined by the government as key workers and there is now more awareness for the opportunities working in elderly care can bring.

Now more than ever, the elderly care sector is evolving and expanding, with new roles and progression paths being created.

Unfortunately, there’s still a few myths about working in social care. Those working in the elderly care sector must continue to raise awareness of their positive experiences. Above all, you’re making a difference in people’s lives, and this is something we need to share with the wider world.

So, it’s important to raise awareness of the enjoyment and fun that working in elderly care can bring – and de-bunk the biggest misconceptions.”

Here are the biggest myths surrounding social care, according to Lottie’s Will Donnelly:

Myth 1: There’s no progression within the care sector
There is lots of room for growth and for those working within this sector to learn and adapt their skills.

There are over 50 qualifications at different levels in social care, so there are always opportunities to progress and widen your skillset. If you decide you want to push your career forward once you’ve completed some social care qualifications, you’ll see a salary increase and more responsibilities, too.

Myth 2: The pay is low
Whilst those working with older people in a care environment tend to be lower paid in comparison to other sectors, it isn’t as low as you may think. All employers in the UK must pay their staff at least the minimum wage, and we’re seeing more care homes now offer the living wage.

Myth 3: Working in a care home is unfulfilling
It’s another common misconception that working in elderly care is unfulfilling. As with any job, it can be a bit challenging sometimes, however you will have regular sessions with your manager to share any negative experiences and what you’d like to improve in your role.

The training you’ll receive working in the care industry will be tailored to the kind of care and support you will be providing so you will be well-equipped to deal with challenging situations, too.

Myth 4: It’s all about personal care
Although personal care is and always will be a key part of working with the elderly, there is so much more to working in this industry! From helping with meal preparation to creating activities for residents, there’s a lot to get involved in.

No two days are ever the same and there’s always activities to be planned. Whether that’s a music class or pet therapy session, it’s a real joy to see the enjoyment these activities bring for care home residents. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get creative if you’re working in a home!

Myth 5: Elderly care is a job for women

One of the biggest misconceptions is that all carers are women. There is a growing number of male carers within the elderly care sector. Previous research has found that 58% of carers are women, whilst 42% are men.

Working with elderly people is all about care, empathy, and a genuine passion for supporting the older generations. Whatever gender you are, whether you’re old or young, is irrelevant.

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