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The real faces of care

Martin Jones CEO Home Instead Senior Care UK

It’s no secret that recruitment in the care sector is a challenge. Government statistics show that there will be an extra 650,000 workers needed by 2035 to look after the rising numbers of older people. Attracting new and retaining current care workers will be one of the crucial elements in helping to reach this number, so how can we all work together to get the message out there that care is a fantastic sector to be in?

The foundations of a caring workforce

Whilst we can’t deny the challenges in the social care sector, there are many care companies who are delivering care in a positive way. It’s about ensuring workers have time to care and travel to clients between visits. It’s about offering quality training and industry leading standards of wage. And it’s about creating and maintaining a strong values-based culture and offering the right health and wellbeing support to care workers. These are just some of the foundations of attracting workers into the sector.

Campaigns like the Department of Health and Social Care’s When you care, every day makes a difference are a great opportunity to start driving new recruits to the sector. They also work well to showcase from current workers what they enjoy about the role, instilling a sense of pride working in the job and ultimately improving retention.

Using real care workers to tell the story…

This year, Home Instead Senior Care took its recruitment campaign to the next level by introducing real caregivers as the ‘national faces of care’ to drive people into the sector.

Four of our caregivers won a nationwide photo competition depicting ‘real moments of care’ with their elderly clients. It was part of our successful ‘You Can Care’ recruitment campaign to urge more people to consider working in care.

Photographs of Julia Meszaros from Bedford, Ruth Smith from Cleveland, Sue Binks from Stourbridge and Glynne Morley from Wimbledon and their clients now feature in national marketing materials and on social media to showcase the rewarding role of working in care.

Ultimately they are the people who can show the real side of caring and so we hope that by telling these real caring stories through real faces, we’ll appeal to kind-hearted individuals nationwide to show them that they too can care for an older person.

Appealing to all types of care worker

Key to the campaign this year was showing how all different types of people make great care workers. Research carried out by Home Instead showed that 34% of people think they are too old to work in care – not true! Many of our caregivers are over the age of 65 and make perfect companions to our clients. A staggering 43% thought that home care involves doing unpleasant and medial tasks – not true! When home care is person centred, personal care becomes something you want to do because of the strong relationship with the client.

Working together to changing perceptions of working in care

This year, the #YouCanCare campaign has not only been picked up by Home Instead but further afield by companies, charities and the care sector, which is fantastic to see. Much like the Government’s campaign, it’s important that the message about working in care is universal.

The more people we can reach, the better, so we can highlight the opportunities working in care and ultimately build on the number of care workers for the future needs of our ageing population. The recruitment message cannot operate in silo and so joining forces will be key to getting more traction and encouraging more people to consider it as a career.

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