How to become a carer for the elderly

Caring for the elderly is a unique and rewarding field to work in, not least because it offers a sense of reward, doing something worthwhile and a personal achievement at the end of each day. Many staff will testify that building relationships with elderly clients in order to support and help them in everyday life is what makes elderly care jobs a gratifying experience.

The duties and responsibilities of a care worker for the elderly are extensive and varied, which means no two days are ever the same. It is a wide-ranging role, as demonstrated by the range of services we provide at Prestige Nursing + Care, such as Companion Care or Personal Care and Support.

What qualifications do I need to be a carer?

Becoming a carer doesn’t require too many formal qualifications. There are a variety of training options, including college courses, which are available to provide you with the skills needed for becoming a carer for the elderly. Taking college courses often opens the door to more opportunities to receive formal certifications in care work, such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

Of course, being a successful elderly carer requires more than just training and education. Being a quality carer involves having a genuine concern and desire to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. Among the most important care worker skills and qualities is having the ability to help elderly clients maintain their independence and dignity – sometimes in challenging conditions, in addition to maintaining a strong sense of compassion.

How to become a carer

There are various routes to becoming a carer. Although college qualifications are one option, it is also possible to learn on the job, or to take an industry-based training programme.

People learn differently, and while classroom learning has benefits for any aspiring professional, many people thrive in a more hands-on environment and learning on the job provides carers with a great understanding of their clients’ needs and the role’s demands. It is therefore important that would-be carers think about which option would suit the best before embarking on this career path.

Prestige’s Introduction to Care training programme can provide you with the education and tools needed to kick-start your career. It is a comprehensive training programme that combines Prestige’s courses with new initiatives – including theoretical elements and practical skills – to provide the knowledge, self-assurance and skills needed to succeed in the role. By combining theoretical and practical learning, the ‘Introduction to Care’ course provides the best of both worlds and gives aspiring carers a leg up.

Part of the course includes shadowing a care worker for hands-on experience, so that you can gain confidence in your ability to handle the responsibility of working life as a professional carer. Furthermore, the course additionally provides would-be carers with the opportunity to work with a broad range of clients as well as the elderly, including those with disabilities or learning difficulties.

Get in touch to find out more about the Introduction to Care training course.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.