A day in the life of a care assistant

07.00 – 11.00: breakfast calls

  • Depending on the area you cover, you can make up to six morning calls starting with the early risers who’ll need assistance getting out of bed
  • You will oversee or assist clients to get up, wash/shower/bathe and dress. Most will have tea/coffee and a light breakfast made for them and may need prompting to take medication. Medication timings could be critical
  • Depending on the length of the visit and the needs of the individual, you may need to help with domestic duties such as laundry, empty the bin, or washing up. You may also need to see to continence needs such as changing pads, emptying commodes, making/changing the bed
  • If this is the only visit until the evening you may need to make sure that there is sufficient fluid, jug of water/squash and a sandwich/snack, within easy reach for during the day
  • Some of our clients may need help with getting them ready to go to day centres, and make sure that the transport arrives to collect them
  • Some of our clients may have limited mobility and will need the support of two carers, a “double up”, we will make sure that this is scheduled in
  • Your call may finish at about 10.30 thus giving you time for a break.

11.00 – 14.00: lunch calls

  • For clients who need multiple visits each day: this is to make sure that they are eating and drinking sufficiently and taking their medication, they may need support getting around, these calls will start about 11.00am
  • Clients may be served a light lunch, especially the early risers, you may not have time to cook a meal. However the meal is usually supplied and delivered by a specialist food delivery company. You may need to support the clients to heat up the meal using a microwave, family may have prepared meals and frozen them
  • Again, you may need to do some light domestic duties, cleaning, tidying or shopping.

15.00 – 18.00: tea time

  • Some clients may need four visits a day, especially if they have severe mobility problems and need support
  • Some like to have something to eat at this time of day, if they have had a good lunch they may just have something on toast, soup, or a sandwich. Many clients will need to take medication at regular intervals and may need prompting or assistance doing this
  • Some care plans will require a bath once or twice a week, as the first two calls of the day can be quite busy. This “quieter” time of day may be the ideal opportunity to do this if the clients needs support.

19.00 – 22.30: evening/bed-time calls

  • Your shift would normally, unless there is an emergency, finish around 22.30
  • Late calls are normally the reverse of the breakfast calls, you may need to prepare supper and make a hot drink. Make sure that the clients is ready for bed, make sure that they have everything they need and make sure that they are safe and secure for the night. You may need to help to attach night bags, catheters or incontinence pads.

There is no such thing as a “typical day” of “typical clients”. Each client will have their own needs and preferences and your support will be tailored to fit them individually.

Care and support – the reality check.

When a client is registered for care it will mean that they will have significant and substantial requirements, and as a carer you will be exposed to the following on a daily basis;

  • Changing soiled insentience pads
  • Washing dentures
  • Washing body parts including genitalia
  • Smells that you may find offensive e.g. urine, faeces and vomit
  • As a carer you may have clients that may require end of life or palliative care.

You may have clients who are not predictable or appreciative of your care, they may be living with dementia, and so behaviour can, and will, fluctuate. You must not take this personally, there will be times when it seems that no matter what you do it is never enough or always wrong. There will also be times when the family may try to interfere. You may also need to communicate with health care professionals, doctors, nurses etc.