Thinking of a career change at 50+?

By 20/08/2023Advice
Bright Carer and her client hands in hands

Are you 50+ and thinking of a career change? Bright Care can give you a rewarding and fulfilling career in care, bringing joy and purpose into elder peoples’ later years. Transitioning to a career in the care industry can be rewarding and fulfilling. 

We know that the over 50s bring a wealth of experience and make exceptional Carers. Our jobs in care offer you the opportunity to spend quality time with your clients, developing relationships and making a difference to those you care for. At Bright Care we feel that the most important attributes in a Care Assistant are their character and personality and the ability to show compassion, be empathic and patient.

We recently spoke to one of our newly qualified Care Assistants, Sarah, to find out why she chose a career change at 50+.

Sarah, career change at 50 plus

What did you do before you retrained as a Care Assistant for Bright Care?

Before this I was doing some voiceover work for audiobooks and also my husband’s bookkeeping for his building company. Both of these part-time jobs were quite sporadic, a little bit haphazard and they did not provide a constant supply of revenue. 

 

What made you change your career?

My part-time work was not paying particularly well, and with the cost-of-living crisis, I wanted to start a more rewarding career and one that would bring in a steady income. My husband and I had a long chat about it and discussed the sorts of things I am good at and the skills I have.

 

Why did you choose to become a Care Assistant for the elderly? 

In recent years I had been looking after my parents through the very end stages of their lives. I felt I could put to good use all that I had learnt. I’ve always been told I’m a kind person, a good listener and, being a mum of three girls and now having grandchildren as well, I know I am patient!

 

Why did you choose to work with Bright Care?

I saw your advertising online, so I read some of the reviews, and what stuck with me was that there were not only lovely reviews from the clients, but also from the Carers. Those reviews made a huge difference to me, because I felt that if they loved working for the company, then I would enjoy working there too. The reviews said it was a lovely company to work for and I could really identify with their values, so I applied.

 

What was the recruitment process like?

Being a Carer is a really super job, but it can also be quite challenging. Bright Care wanted to make sure that it was definitely the right job for me, that my personal qualities were a good fit and that I felt competent enough to do the role. Although the recruitment was not a quick process, I thought it was a gentle process. We discussed the hours I would be working and the type of work I would be doing. After my interview, they gave me time to reflect and chat to my family, to see how the role might impact them.  They then called me back in for another interview to talk through it all, which I found really useful, because I had a few more questions that I wanted to ask.

 

What was your Bright Care training like?

I did my training at the Bright Care Academy in Perth, and that was great. I met some lovely people and the trainers were amazing. They were so helpful; no question was deemed a stupid question and they went through the subject matter so carefully. When I first started the training, I was quite apprehensive, but by the end of it I felt much more confident. I felt prepared for my first client because the training extended the knowledge I had and gave me hands-on experience as well, such as trying out the different techniques that I might need to use.

The training gave me confidence in my own abilities and the trainers made me feel that I wasn’t alone. I know that if I ever have a problem at any time, I can call my Line Manager and they will be there to support me. 

 

What is it like being a Care Assistant for Bright Care?

The first couple of weeks I was shadowing other Carers and they shared their experiences with me and I got to meet their clients. Now I have several lovely clients of my own, who are from all different walks of life, and it has been great to meet them. I already feel that I’m making a difference and that’s very rewarding.

 

What do you find rewarding about your new role?

At first, some clients can feel that they don’t need care, but gradually as they learn to trust me and realise that I’m there to help them, they start to accept the little bit of extra help. With my encouragement, I have seen my clients relax and blossom as they gain confidence, start to do more things for themselves and enjoy being more independent in their own homes.

 

What do you consider to be challenging about your role?

You can find that with clients who have severe dementia, their personalities change and that is quite a challenge. You need to remember that it’s not the person, it’s their condition, that has made them that way. We just need to support them, be kind to them and help them in any way we can. 

 

What traits or characteristics do you think makes a good Care Assistant?

I think a person who is patient, nurturing, caring and non-judgmental, who has a sense of humour, can chat quite readily to their clients and who has confidence in themselves and their abilities.

 

What makes Bright Care different from other care companies?

I have some experience with another care company, from when I used to care for my mother. When she got dementia, I didn’t have the training or the skills to be able to continue with her care on my own, so we decided to have a Carer come in three times a day for her. They were very quick visits, just half an hour to make a quick meal, and it was a different person every day. My mother got very frightened by so many different people coming and going and she didn’t recognise them because of the dementia. We ended up having to put her in a care home, partially because these Carers never got to know my mum, or to understand her personality. They couldn’t see the real person that she was because there was no time to have a chat, or to look at the family photographs, to see what she was like years ago and gain a better understanding of who she was. 

I feel that because Bright Care allows a longer time for visits with a client, I can get to know them and they can get to know and trust me. That way clients can stay safely and supported in their own homes for longer. 

If you are thinking of a career change at 50+, please remember that working in the care industry can be incredibly meaningful and impactful, but it’s important to make an informed decision based on careful consideration of what is right for you.

We recommend you read this article for advice on career change at 50+ and click here for the various roles we offer in elder care

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If you would like to join our team providing private and bespoke in-home later life care, please get in touch.

If you would like to know more about the companionship care we offer, our team would be delighted to talk you through the options available, so please get in touch.

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