Over the past 15 years, the tools and scope of care working has changed. Faisal is not just a care assistant: he is a cook, a dog walker, a cleaner, and a companion
After finishing school, Faisal had to support his elderly parents, navigating care offers and supporting them emotionally. Through a government supported vocational course in health and social care he built on this experience to become a certified personal care assistant.
While key skills requirements have not changed much over the past 15 years, the tools and scope of the job have. He is not just a care assistant: he is a cook, a dog walker, a cleaner, a companion, a health and wellbeing monitoring assistant and sometimes the first responder in case of emergencies.
The care profession has continued to boom, in part because robots do not possess the traits which make humans good carers
These traits include compassion, humour, patience and flexibility; however, pay, working conditions and the status of the profession have not necessarily kept pace.
To differentiate his services, Faisal performs a number of technical tasks. A preference for ageing at home means that one of his first roles is helping clients to physically adapt their homes, decide on what kinds of home assistive technology systems they will need and how that data will be used. This includes giving advice on wearable technology to measure blood pressure, blood-glucose and sleep patterns, for which Faisal has taken advantage of free training in biology.
This information is available to him 24/7, helping catch potential issues before they lead to a hospital trip but, equally, if not more importantly, it frees him to spend more time as a companion during home visits.
Faisal is also increasingly finding supplemental work outside of elderly care. A wider industry has risen up demanding many of the same skills to support working families manage their homes and lives. He does this on a freelance basis for the more well off families of the older clients he has come to know, but is also exploring other opportunities.
Customer and personal service (K), static strength (A), service orientation (S), biology (K), arm-hand steadiness (A), problem sensitivity (A), active listening (A), extent flexibility (A), oral expression (S), manual dexterity (A).