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Guide to Working with the Elderly

There is a great deal of satisfaction with working with the elderly. A care worker in a residential or nursing home assists elderly people in being able to enjoy the best quality of life possible. However, Sophia from civilizedhealth.com agreed stating that work with elderly is very delicate and a DBS check is essential.

What does the work entail?

The extent of caring for the elderly depends on the care facility. Many care workers support medical, nursing, and other qualified staff providing and attending to the basic daily needs of elderly people. The work of a carer in a nursing home might be quite different to a live-in carer, or to someone working in a hospice. It will all however, cover helping the patient to dress, maintaining personal hygiene, maintaining cleanliness in the patient personal living space, and assistance with moving about as required although sometimes it is enough to help them get in their Kymco mobility scooter so they can move around with no assistance.

What qualifications are needed to work with the elderly?

There are no specific qualifications to begin working with the elderly. Every person at entry level is assessed on their aptitude for the job and their attitude towards care giving. It is essential that a care worker is passionate about wanting to help and to provide the best care possible.

Formal qualifications such as NVQ in Health and Social Care, Levels 2 and 3 are useful as is any nursing training, or medical qualification. Volunteering is a food demonstration to commitment to care giving and basic first aid training is also beneficial.

Irrespective of age and experience, every person wishing to work with the elderly will most probably undergo a DBS check. This applies to volunteer positions working with the elderly too in some cases.

What is a DBS check?

Although not a legal requirement, the majority of employers in care industries will undertake DBS tests for safer and better recruitment and licensing decisions.  A DBS check is requested by an employer on an existing or potential employee, with their consent, from the Disclosure and Barring Service. The Police National Computer and the Adult and Children’s Barred List are screened for the individual’s record to identify any criminal convictions, cautions, warnings, or charges to the employer.

The information is provided to the employer and the person screened is presented with a DBS certificate. There is a fee for each check carried out with different options of checks available. It can be requested that the Adult and Children’s Barred list be screened for example, or that the check is run to included exemptions that are in force for the basic check. The costs of a DBS check are borne by the entity making the request, but an individual may request their own check to become DBS certified via the government website.

There is no official expiry date of DBS certificates, but the screening is undertaken at a specific point in time so changes and new entries to a person’s record subsequent to the check are not automatically notified to the DBS certificate holders. Best practice guidelines recommend that DBS checks are renewed every three years. This DBS renewal service is available to both the employer and employee.

While not a guarantee, the DBS gives peace of mind to the employers in care giving entities that their staff are fit to carry the duties for which they are employed.

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