hi everyone, I have problems with my balance,I have ms. does anyone have similar problems and work as a carer/support worker. I would love to work with people as a carer support worker if I could manage it. Thanks
Hi, my older daughter works as a home carer and it is quite physical work. She has to use moving and handling on people to move them from bed to chair/shower. She also uses hoists to move people into baths and onto toilets. If someone has soiled their bed and are bed bound, she and another carer have to roll the person onto their side and one hold them while the other cleans them and changes the bed under the person. She also cooks light meals and is therefore using pots which can be quite heavy. She also bends over a lot helping people on with stockings/tights/socks and shoes and if she suffered from vertigo or dizziness she would be more likely to topple over. I don’t think you should rule out any profession but you have to really know what is involved and whether you can carry out the duties nearly every day as these people rely on you to turn up every day at the same time and help them. Oh, that’s another thing, she can start as early as 6.30 and with split shifts can still be working at 9.30 at night. How are you in the morning or early evening, I know other daughter who has MS is not great in the morning or at night as that is when her fatigue is at it’s worse. It is a very worthwhile job but very demanding, hours are rubbish and it’s very phyisical hard work. Last thing is she has to travel from house to house with very little breaks inbetween because of the split shifts so you could be working 4 hours straight and maybe visiting up to 12 clients in that time depending on how long you have been allocated to each house, it’s usually about 15 minutes per house and travel time between is not accounted for, apparently they think she has some sort of transporter that can beam her from one house to the next in a second. I hope I have not put you off but given you something to think about. Good luck. Linda x
Hi, sorry to hear of your problems.
As Rachels mum says, normally doing a caring job takes a lot of energy and stamina.
BUT I know of a nurse who does night sitting or day sitting. She has damaged her back through nursing, but has managed to earn a good wage and still feels fullfilled.
Perhaps this will interest you.
There is also things such as dementia advisors, those are people who work with people with dementia but giving advice, emotional support and time but no physical care. Don’t rule out working with people you may just have to find another way of doing it. Linda x
I used to be a community care worker and it is very physically demanding. You are rushing around and on your feet all day. Lots of bending and moving and handling too. The hours and shift patterns are also killers. After doing the job for several years I wouldn’t recommend to anyone let alone someone with health problems. I fully expect residential is the same too. You can still work in social care though as there are so many different roles from befriending services to advocacy and support. It’s a very rewarding career. I’m a social worker now which is less strenuous and pays much more too. Most care worker jobs are on 0 hour contracts and do not offer sick pay or pension.
I have only just joined this forum
I have been working as a carer ( official title is Personal Assistant) for getting to close to 4 yrs now. It is for a lady who was on dialysis but has now had a trasplant. My role is to help her run her house with pets and 2 children ( now teenagers) It is a demanding role and not as simple as it sounds due to other complications. I do everythign from housework, cooking, paperwork, hospital appointments, vet trips, parents evenings, sports days, dentist/ dr etc
After 18 months of health issues I was finally diagnosed with MS in January of this year. I am still doing my job, although I am more aware of finding certain things harder… mainly the concertration and I don’t feel as ‘on the ball’ as I used to be.
With all the cuts more people are cared for in their own homes and hours are less and often more flexible.
My employer and I have had a laugh about having a role reversal and that she can recover from transplant and push me in her wheelchair instead
This is a subject close to my heart… I have worked in health&social care for many years, and am hoping to get back into it (albeit with vastly reduce hours!)
I think you’re right to be aware that balance problems could cause problems in certain situations… but (in my opinion, and I’m no expert!) It depends what sort of care / support work you want to do, … there may be some good options for you to look in to, both in support work & related areas.
I would avoid the sort of jobs Rachel’smum has mentioned - agency work, where you visit clients in their own homes, often to help with personal care /domestic tasks,- as it is physically very demanding and maybe not the best move for you if you struggle with balance. I would also maybe avoid working in care homes where service users need a high level of physical support as it might not be the best thing for you right now. But there are other options…
For example, I have worked with people who didn’t need much physical assistance, and maybe in those settings, your balance difficulties might not pose such an issue. In one job, I worked with young people with mild learning disabilities, and a lot of the time was spent supporting them to do hobbies such as bowling and going to the pub, talking through problems, making sure they kept bedrooms tidy (verbal prompts mostly, occasionally helping with light domestic tasks.) Its difficult to know if that would be the right thing for you as I dont know the extent of your balance problems, (and this job could still get reasonably ‘active’ at times)…but I think its important to realise that not all support-work involves strenuous physical activity.
Voluntary work is probably a good way to dip your toe in the water. at the moment I volunteer with a group for older people with dementia. It is well supervised by staff who are keen to accept volunteers of all abilities and needs, and there is absolutely no lifting /handling involved at all.
As Linda mentioned, befriending is a possibility. This is when you meet with service users 1:1, usually to lessen social isolation, and there is usually no physical work involved. Unfortunately, most befriending roles are in the voluntary sector… as you move towards paid work in this area there is also an increase in the ammount of physical chores (eg home-help ) you need to do. But there are some paid befriender jobs around… they’re just hard to find… it might be worth finding out more?
Advocacy work (where you meet with a client, listen thier wants an needs, and then advocate for them) is a possibility too… and advice work (advising people on different aspects of life, such as disability benefits etc), as well as counselling roles - are all options too. there are a quite a few different advocacy, advice-work and counselling courses around if you wanted to go down that route.
If you were interested in working with children or young people, you could consider becoming an LSA (learning Support Assistant) in a school / classroom environment, supporting them with schoolwork… depending on the needs of the children you work with, your balance problems may not be so much of an issue as they might be in ‘care’ settings. It is surprisingly similar to support work in a lot of ways… a lot of time is spent on pastoral support and so forth. Also, lot of LSAs work part time, if that was something that might appeal.
You could also look into jobs within care environments that don’t involve the more physical aspect of care work. For example, lots of care homes employ ‘activities organisers / coordinators’ who plan/ organise/schedule activities for residents… you usually need some experience first, but you could gain that through voluntary work if you wanted
So If you really want to do support work, don’t rule it out completely before exploring all your options. Some care settings are very physically demanding, others less so… maybe look into all the different options and see if there are any possibilities that could work xx xxx
ps, sorry if I’ve waffled on a bit… I have been thinking about this stuff for a while now, - I’m in a similar situation myself! x
You could look for jobs as a personal assistant as these jobs often have set hours and more than onr PA. You can get a PA job working with different client groups so doesn’t necessarily have to be too physical in the sense of using hoists etc. People with learning disabilities and mental health problems are often on direct payments and will be advertising for personal assistants. These kind of jobs are less physical than them with physical disabilities or elderly. Hope that makes sense. If its what you want to do go for it but just know your limits and be honest with the employer. Xxx
hi, the lengthy reply from anonymous was very interesting to read. it could help many people who are in a similar position to you.
Lisalou`s reply made me think of adverts I have seen, where social services advertise for PAs on behalf of clients. So why not give SS a ring to see if they have anything of interest to you.
You can tell I work for social services Poll…my writing even subtle suggests it eh? Yes we have many people who have direct payments and PAs. Work with a variety of people so plenty of options for less physical work with some of the service users and usually if people have a lot of care there is a team of PAs. Xxx
I doubt we`d ever manage now without Direct Payments and my small team of carers.
I get a morning carer, 7 days a week…8.75 hours a week
2 carers take me out once a week…8 hours a week
I also get 1 sleepover a week.
All these hours give hubby a much needed rest…especially the sleepover. I did ask for a re-assessment, as his RA gives him so much pain, but was advised that I could lose some of my current hours! If I could manage with less, why would I have asked for a re-assessment? Cuts mean cuts, I guess.
I do appreciate what I have. Do you think it would do any good to ask for a Carer`s Assessment?