A care assistant works with people including the elderly and disabled who have difficulty carrying out their regular day-to-day activities. Care assistants often work at nursing homes, sheltered housing, hospitals or directly in clients' homes. Duties include assisting with cleaning, doing laundry, bathing, using the toilet, getting dressed, cooking, doing housework, shopping and paying bills. Care assistants also may organize recreational activities for the client.
The job responsibilities of a care assistant vary according to the needs of the client. The hours worked range from part-time to full-time, depending on how extensive the client's demands are. Care assistants must be flexible and adaptable to changing demands. As the name suggests, care assistant positions require that an employee is personable and has a strong desire to help people in need. Care assistants must demonstrate a capacity for patience, understanding and tenderness and must be able to remain calm while under pressure. Many clients with advanced needs rely solely on the presence of a care assistant to maintain a level of normalcy in their daily lives.
In the United Kingdom, care assistants who work in adult social care are required to take a 12-week training course that covers national minimum standards of care.