What to expect when working in a care home

The UK will experience a massive demand for care workers as its population ages and care homes will continue to be fundamental in meeting vulnerable adults’ care needs. To help you understand if a career in a care home is right for you, we’ve created this short guide on what to expect when working in a care home.

What does working in a care home involve?

Working in a care home involves a broad spectrum of duties and tasks. These range from client care responsibilities such as washing, dressing and helping with everyday tasks like paying bills, to providing emotional support or company. Duties and tasks can also stretch to include helping residents take part in leisure activities, such as day trips.

The duties of a care worker are all of equal importance, but some can also be resident specific, given that different people have different needs. Getting to know care home residents is an important part of the role, as a personal approach can help to contribute to residents’ overall wellbeing. Making sure each individual resident is properly cared for to meet their specific needs is of the utmost importance in making a difference to a patient’s quality of life, and is what makes an excellent care worker stand out.

A day in the life of a care home worker


While morning duties often depend on the size of the care home, in general, you will be asked to help the residents prepare for the day. This may include helping the residents get out of bed or get washed up and dressed for the day. Such personal care tasks are always performed in a sensitive manner to ensure the privacy and dignity of each resident is respected.

After helping the residents with their morning tasks, breakfast is served and medication is administered. The activities that follow breakfast are different in each care home, but they often involve either free time for the residents, scheduled group activities or personal appointments a resident may have booked for the day.


In the early afternoon residents will have lunch and those needing assistance will be supported by a care worker. You may also be asked to assist with another round of medication administration.

During the afternoon, a care home worker may assist residents with their individual hobbies such as arts and crafts or gardening, or group activities organised by the care home such as bingo or dancing. The role of a care home worker is about encouraging socialisation and facilitating a resident’s personal hobbies and sense of independence, so afternoons are an important part of the day.


After assisting the residents with eating their dinner and another round of medication administration, residents will often spend some quiet time in their rooms or in the communal areas. During this time, you may be asked to perform some bookkeeping detailing everything that has happened with each resident during your shift. Daily record keeping is vital so that each care home worker can stay up-to-date with the lives of the residents, but it is also required by the Care Quality Commission.

The final task of the day is to help each resident prepare for bed. This may involve a number of personal care tasks such as helping the residents change into their bed clothes or bathing.

The Benefits of Working in a Care Home

Though working in a care home can at times be challenging, it is rewarding work with good long-term prospects. These are just some of the many compelling benefits of working in a care home:

A rewarding career where you can make a positive difference

Every day you will have the opportunity to look after vulnerable people that require some extra care and support. This is incredibly rewarding work that allows you to make a positive difference in the quality of life of the residents.

You can make connections with other people

Working in residential care is an extremely social job that is perfect for individuals that love to chat and socialise. The role of a care worker is extremely person-centred – not only will you be required to meet the practical needs of the residents but you will also get to know them on a personal level and provide emotional support and companionship.

Flexible work rotas

Like many other professions in the health and social care sector, carers in residential care homes tend to work in shift patterns. This variety of hours and rotas means it’s possible to find shifts that fit your scheduling needs and life situation.

Earn qualifications and develop clinical skills

Many care homes offer the opportunity to earn nationally recognised qualifications and learn new clinical skills. Although you do not necessarily need qualifications to begin working in care, they do demonstrate a level of practical knowledge and skill and can further your job prospects. For instance, earning an NVQ Level 2 or 3 in Health and Social Care may allow you to land your first entry-level role and you may eventually progress up to Level 7 for managerial care staff..

There’s often good job security and job prospects

Thanks to a growing demand for care workers, there are plenty of job opportunities for those considering a new career in the health and social care sector. Demand for experienced and qualified care professionals isn’t expected to slow down any time soon, making this the perfect time to begin a career in care.

The Challenges of Working in a Care Home

Although working in a care home is immensely rewarding, it can also present challenges at times. As to be expected, there is a huge amount of responsibility that comes with the job, as care home assistants work directly with residents and are charged with their wellbeing. With this responsibility, however, comes the reward and satisfaction of making a difference and improving someone’s quality of life.

Some of the challenges a care home assistant might face include caring for those with severe and debilitating conditions like dementia or learning difficulties. Care home workers spend a good deal of time with clients, so overcoming challenges like these is fundamental to establishing the relationship on which good care provision can be built. Some duties can be viewed as intimidating at first, but with the right training and support, care home workers can be fully prepared to handle these challenges.</p

Do I Need Experience to Work in a Care Home?

Experience is not always necessary to begin working in a care home. The training that residential carers receive is extensive and will provide carers with the right knowledge and experience to succeed in a care home environment.

Even if they possess little prior care home experience, after a comprehensive care home training programme they will be prepared for the duties and responsibilities of the work.

Although experience is not always necessary, most care homes require the following qualifications:

  • A good standard of written and spoken English
  • The right to work in the UK
  • Clear police, occupational health and reference checks
  • Good professional and personal references

Is Working in a Care Home Right for Me?

Although working in a care home is not always easy, it can be one of the most rewarding vocations. Many care home workers are happy to see the effects of their hard work through the gratitude of the residents and their families. Furthermore, working in a care home can provide an excellent starting point for a long and varied career, with excellent prospects for career development and advancement into management.

Consider a Rewarding Career in Home Care

While working as a care home assistant has its advantages, a career in home care allows you to provide person-centred care in the best way possible.

As a home carer, you’ll deliver one-to-one care directly in a client’s home. Since you’ll be working closely with each client, you’ll have the time you need to really get to know them and establish a meaningful relationship.

As a fully-managed service provider, we handle all aspects of finding and managing your clients. You’ll be welcomed into our community of experienced and compassionate carers dedicated to providing you with everything you need to provide outstanding care.

We make sure each of our carers is supported in a way that enables them to provide the very best care to our clients and make them feel safe and cared for. This includes providing benefits such as:

  • Competitive pay rates
  • Flexible working hours
  • On-going training and development
  • Access to exclusive discounts, cashback & vouchers for care workers

We have a number of vacancies for caring people who get personal satisfaction from providing exceptional care. If that’s you, we’d love to hear from you! Find out more about our recruitment process or take a look at our current job vacancies.

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your care needs.

0808 239 1525


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