types of work in private home care

Why You Should Consider a Career in Private Home Care

Ever considered working in private home care? Find out more about the different roles available, benefits of working in private home care, and what you can expect in entering this rewarding career.

by Grace Koh

With an ageing population and a general trend of double-income families residing in Singapore, it is no surprise that there has been greater demand for medical professionals and caregivers to care for the elderly, or those who are unwell. There are a range of different care services and roles available such as helpers or caregiverswhether it be in a public setting, like a nursing home, or a private setting such as in private home care. 

Private home care refers to personal support provided in a home setting, and can be referred to as home help as well. In private home care, a professional carer can provide practical assistance with daily activities like cleaning, grocery shopping, or supportive care during grooming activities like bathing and toileting and the carer does not necessarily have to be medically trained. A great draw of private home care is that it can help to support the independence and improve the quality of life of those being cared for. Think this sounds like a role suitable for you? 

Ever wondered whether you are suitable to work in private home care? Besides a caring and loving spirit, and a pair of helpful hands, what else does the role in this sector entail? 

Types of work/services available in private home care

types of work in private home care

There are a variety of roles available in private home care. The roles available can be broadly categorised into non-medical care, and medical home care. It would be important to find the one which suits you best, as there are different qualifications required for different types of care jobs. 

Non-medical care 

This refers to roles which do not require medical knowledge to perform, such as domestic support in daily activities, to provide companionship for a client,  or to act as medical escorts for appointments.

Companion care

Companion care is as what its name suggests – a companion to keep someone company. The role of a companion includes doing some housework for clients, running errands, and ensuring their safety. Companions are required to know what to do in the event of an emergency as well. 

Personal care and domestic support 

Personal care caregivers provide services which help clients with their daily life activities such as bathing, eating, toileting, dressing, or grooming. A higher level of support is needed for this role as the clients are usually not fully mobile or well, or bed-bound. A personal care caregiver may be required to help the client with transfers from wheelchairs to couches, or helping them to get up from the bed. 

Personal care caregivers may be required to help with the client’s life maintenance tasks as well, such as paying bills, or ensuring the refrigerator is well stocked with ample food. The scope of the role can be wide, so you should be aware of what a prospective job offer from this role entails.

Medical escort and transportation 

A medical escort is there to help clients who find it difficult to travel alone whether by public or private transport. A medical escort ensures that their clients shuffle from appointments to appointments safely and on schedule, and may not be required to help out with the chores at home or with activities of daily living for the client. 

Respite care

For caregivers who have to provide daily care for their loved ones, it can be an exhausting and draining role over time. Respite care services offer some time for rest and recharge for the caregiver by taking over the role for a specific period of time. Respite care can range from home help to more specialised help with certain medical conditions, like dementia.  

Live-in care

Live-in carers stay together with the client to provide care and companionship. This role is more personal in nature as live-in carers would have to build a relationship and rapport with the client and their family. With live-in care, what can be expected is that you will stay with the client, and help to upkeep the home and provide care as well. This role may intersect with domestic helpers in Singapore, as domestic helpers do stay at home and can provide care for the client as well. However, live-in carers are usually more specialised in their care and have better caregiving experience, e.g. can help with bed transfers etc. 

Medical home care 

Medical home care refers to carers who have professional and specialised medical knowledge. This type of carer is useful for situations where the client requires more than just a pair of helping hands around the house, but also someone trained who can assist with certain health conditions. Usually, these roles require additional certifications and training as compared to a non-medical carer role. 

Home nursing care 

Home nursing care is care that is provided and supervised by registered nurses, and is different from a caregiver role in that home nurses can fulfil care needs for complex conditions which the layman caregiver may not have knowledge or experience with. This could be dressing wounds, treating and managing skin problems such as pressure sores or tears, giving injections and administering certain types of medication. Some of these conditions may include tracheostomies, ventilation difficulties, complex issues with continence, stomas, catheters, or tube feeding. 

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Find out more about our various roles below:

Advantages of working in private home care

With working in private home care, you can look forward to: 

  • A more flexible job schedule: Private home carers have more control over their job schedule, as they can choose the types of jobs or shifts which work for them. 
  • Job satisfaction in helping others: Working in private home care would mean taking on roles where you will have to directly care for others and their needs. If you are driven by the mission to help others, being a carer is a good person-job fit, and can lead to higher job satisfaction. Beyond directly helping the client, you could also be providing respite for a tired caregiver as well. 
  • Meeting different personalities from various walks of life: A carer usually spends much time with someone at a different life stage, and also from a different background. If you like meeting new people and getting to know them, being a carer could be a suitable role for you. You will get to spend a fair amount of time with the client, which naturally leads to conversations or revelations about their life story. 
  • Independent work environment which is not desk-bound: Tired and burnt out from the corporate hum-drum and the desk-bound life, or the endless Zoom meetings at work? In private home care, you will be required to move from place to place, and there is generally more autonomy given, due to the nature of work. This differs from a corporate role very much, and can be a refreshing change to some employees looking for a role beyond an office and working from a desk. 
  • Likely a growing need in the future to come: Private home care is likely to be in high demand in the near future, as Singapore has an ageing population. You would not be lacking or short of job options in the field of private home care. 

What to expect working in private home care

To be a caregiver working in private home care, you can expect that employers are looking for these following traits and abilities in a caregiver: 

  • Able to assist with personal care, which may include bathroom functions, bathing, grooming, dressing, and eating.
  • Able to carry out a prescribed healthcare plan for the care recipient, which may include assisting with exercise and administering medication.
  • Able to help out with household maintenance, such as ensuring that the house is tidy, clean, and organised. 
  • Able to provide emotional support and encouragement to the client when necessary. 
  • Able to assist with mobility if required, e.g. transfers from bed to wheelchair. 
  • Able to assist with transporting or escorting the client to appointments. 
  • Able to monitor and report changes in health, behaviour, and needs.
  • Able to work flexible hours.
  • Possess a friendly, caring, and professional attitude. 

Professional and/or educational qualifications for private home care appear to be relevant to whichever caregiving role you choose to undertake. For example, if you would like to work as a medical private home carer, this may require further specialised training. The Agency of Integrated Care has a few courses on caregiving roles which you can look out for. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a caregiver in private home care earns about SGD$18 to $21 per hour. This is subject to different organisations; some pay by the hour, while others pay a monthly salary. 

Join Homage as a Care Pro today

If you are interested in entering the healthcare industry, but are not absolutely certain if it is the career for you, why not start off by gaining some work experience in the caregiving space with Homage?

If you think you have the right heart and a dedicated mind for helping another with their daily living tasks and self-care needs, apply to be a caregiver with us today:

  • Take the first step. Send in your application here and our Care Pro Operations Team will be in touch with you shortly.
  • Learn about what it takes to be a professional caregiver with Homage here.
  • Looking for side hustle with a short-term commitment? Apply to be a Homage Care Pro today!
References
  1. Betterteam. (2021, April 20). Caregiver Job Description. Retrieved from: https://www.betterteam.com/caregiver-job-description 
  2. Glassdoor. (2021, April 16). Glassdoor – Caregiver Salaries. Retrieved from: https://www.glassdoor.sg/Salaries/caregiver-salary-SRCH_KO0,9.htm 
  3. Homecare.co.uk. (2021, April 26). Types of Home Care Services & Visits. Retrieved from: https://www.homecare.co.uk/advice/types-of-homecare
  4. Hometouch. (2020, November 4). Private Home Care | Hometouch | Private Home Care Services. Retrieved from: https://myhometouch.com/private-home-care
  5. AgingInPlace. (2021, December 20). Different Types of Home Care. AgingInPlace.Org. Retrieved from: https://aginginplace.org/different-types-of-home-care/
  6. Serapio, E. C., & Serapio, E. C. (2011, May 25). Types of Private Home Care Services. EzineArticles. Retrieved from: https://ezinearticles.com/?Types-of-Private-Home-Care-Services&id=6300074
  7. Supplemental Health Care. (2019, March 26). 8 Advantages of Working in Home Health Care. Retrieved from: https://www.shccares.com/blog/eight-advantages-of-working-in-home-health-care

 

About the Writer
Grace Koh
Apart from reading, singing, and plodding up muddy trails, Grace enjoys scribbling notes and thinking up a storm. She is particularly interested in community support for the special needs population, and learning and education.
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