Essentially Healthcare Support Workers are people who focus on taking care of those that may not be able to take care of themselves but wish to remain living at home.
In the terminology of domiciliary care, this means staff who work with all types of health affected people. Some who may be frail, vulnerable, or simply require some support with an ongoing healthcare condition that may hold them back from living independently.
Whatever the reason, the focus of Healthcare Support Workers is always the same; to keep people they work with living at home independently for as long as possible. Ideally keeping them away from a nursing or residential home, which may often be uncomfortable for them.
However, these Healthcare Support Workers often go by many names, from a care assistant to a care-giver. They can be called home-help, a domiciliary worker or even a personal assistant at times. Many places, including us as Aster Care, refer to these hard workers as Healthcare Support Workers because we believe they support people when they need it most.
With most long-term conditions, these individuals cannot be left alone due to the impact their condition has on them, but that doesn’t mean they are unable to live alone. What they need is highly trained support, and to have access to the people who can carry out the specific tasks they would otherwise need help for i.e. from a team of nursing home staff.
Many Healthcare Support Workers due to the higher level of training they have will work longer than average shifts, often with one other support worker. This generally means they work for 6-12 hours shifts (sometimes just 4). In these shifts, the trained professionals use their skills to support the medical and safety needs of those they support and carry out all of the needs for the individual at that time.
This is often done in the manner the person so wishes, which we call ‘person-centred care’. There is no rushing about or strict regimes, just the giving of care and support that is tailored to the individual in the way they wish for it to be delivered.
Care tasks completed in these shifts can include helping with personal care, assisting people to access the community, helping with complex medication, cooking meals, and running the home.
More specialist tasks can include helping someone with a tracheostomy (a tube directly into the windpipe) which helps someone to breathe easily with non-invasive ventilation methods, as well as supporting those who cannot swallow food with their PEG feeding systems (a tube directly into the stomach), enabling them to get the nutrition they need to live well.
In addition to all of this, Healthcare Support Workers will try to make the care secondary to the main purpose, which is to help those with long term conditions, and/or dementia, lead their normal lives, or as close to, by engaging in leisure activities and accessing the community. This is an important aspect for many support workers, as it focuses on the whole person, and not just their condition or health issues.
What makes companies like Aster Care’s service different from others in the industry is the focus on longer shifts with one-to-one care in people’s own homes and not a nursing home.
When staff do not have to rush the care, they have time to build meaningful relationships which helps individuals to achieve their own goals, and in return provides a great deal of job satisfaction for any Healthcare Support Workers along the way.
Get in touch with Aster Care to learn more about our teams and support staff.