Keep Cool On Your Home Care Shift

The great British summer has finally arrived; and true to form there’s as many startlingly hot blue-skied sunny days as there are grey thunderstorms! The weather is as unpredictable as ever and with 2020 already shaping up to be a pretty wild year, who knows what it’ll bring next? For home carers in particular, erratic weather conditions can be difficult. Keeping cool on your home care shift is all about being prepared.

Self-Care on your Home Care Shift

 

Look at keeping cool and hydrated as necessary self-care – because it’s only at your healthiest that you are able to able to offer the best possible service and care to your clients. A happy, healthy home carer makes for a great one, and it’s important to put yourself first; plus, it’ll make your job easier – win-win!

 

The following tips will help home carers prepare for all eventualities and ensure that you’re comfortable, no matter the weather!

 

Dress Accordingly

 

Many home carers have a uniform of sorts to wear, or at least a dress code. No doubt you’ll already be well versed in carrying a change of clothing between clients (everyone’s forgotten once and never made that mistake again!), but the key to dealing with unpredictable weather – layering! Carry some basic t-shirts or base layers which can be added in as necessary if things get cooler, as well as a hair tie or band to keep longer hair up and off your neck and shoulders in the heat.

 

If you’re wearing PPE, it’s not unreasonable to adapt your outfit to it, providing you still meet the necessary safety requirements. Non-steam visors and ear protectors for masks are available, so ask your care agency to supply them if you need them to.

 

Ensure your Vehicle is Well Serviced

 

Home carers frequently drive between jobs, but cars tend to get temperamental in changeable weather. Ensure that your car is always well topped up with oil and water. It is also advised to carry a spare tyre. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road in extreme summer heat!

 

Carry Water

 

Always carry a couple of bottles of water with you – at least your two litres for the day! If you’re not the best at remembering to consume enough to stay hydrated, set an alarm on your phone or remind yourself to have a quick drink every time you finish a job. You don’t need to down gallons of water, but sipping throughout the day should keep you well enough topped up.

 

Eat Well

 

No matter how busy the day, it’s imperative that carers eat well and have enough energy to deal properly with whatever care situations they encounter on shift. Make sure you have healthy (and delicious!) snack options in your car so that even if you’re not able to make it through a big meal for whatever reason, you can keep your energy and sugar levels where they should be.

 

It can be all too easy for carers to reach for crisps or chocolate bars when busy; simply out of convenience. This quickly becomes a habit though, so try and diversify away from these treats if you can.

 

Take A Break

 

No matter how manic a home care shift gets or how much happens, you really must stop to take a break. Everyone in care has worked a day (or, OK, lots of days) when there’s only time for a few breaths on your own in the car between jobs, but even this is important. An exhausted, frazzled carer is not effective, so make sure that you’re able to present to every job as fresh-faced and motivated as you possibly can.

 

If taking a break becomes a ‘treat’, your shift needs to be better managed. Speak to your employer and work out how better your schedule can be managed – you need to put yourself first and ensure that you can deliver the brilliant level of care your clients deserve.

 

Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.

Home Carer Protection Essentials

The whole world is focused on the brave front line key workers fighting the coronavirus at the moment – and rightly so! One such role critical to the battle against the pandemic is that of home carers.

 

Protection is vital not just for home carers themselves, but those they work for too – make sure you have your home carer protection essentials!

 

The Risks Currently Involved in Working in Home Care

 

The nature of home care is that carers are unable to follow the government guidelines on social distancing, as their duties simply can’t be carried out from a 2m distance. The risks, therefore, are two-fold to carers: firstly that they contract the virus from a person for whom they are caring that is infected with it, and secondly that they ‘carry’ the virus and pass it on to someone for whom they are providing care at home. As those requiring a home carer often fall into vulnerable health categories, both have the potential to be dangerous.

 

In order to best avoid either contracting the virus from others or infecting others with it, sufficient home carer protection measures should be followed at all times.

 

Protection Measures a Home Carer Can Take

 

The government has set out guidelines for social and care workers regarding the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while working. The government measures include, but are by no means limited to:

 

  • Gloves and Protective Aprons – Home carers often wear gloves for specific duties anyway, but use may currently extend beyond that considered basic. Disposable gloves should be changed after every human contact and with the latest research showing that the virus is able to live on hard surfaces, they should also be used when touching anything in the home. Aprons need to be changed less often but are also always to be considered single use as per SICPs (Standard Infection Control Procedures).
  • Hand Sanitiser – There are many circumstances within which a home carer may wish to wash their hands but are unable to. In these situations, hand sanitiser gel is recommended as an easy way to detox the skin of bacteria and allow for an efficient resumption of duties. It is acknowledged that hand sanitiser is currently difficult to purchase – but lots of high street retailers will help as they can when presented with professional identification.
  • Fluid Protection Surgical Mask – Should a FPS mask be required, it may be used for a single session of patient work rather than disposed of after every duty. However, these should always be changed between individuals.
  • Personal Lunchbox and Water Bottle – Travelling to a shop to purchase a single meal is now considered inessential and so goes against government advice – not to mention, of course, that it immediately exposes you to more germs. Home carers should, therefore, travel with their lunch, drinks and any snacks, and only consume them in the privacy and safe space of their own vehicle.

 

Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.