The UK’s social care and support network is a crucial lynchpin for the wellbeing and quality-of-life of millions. Elderly, disabled, developmentally challenged and otherwise infirm members of the population rely on regular support and interventions of care in order to live as close to normal lives as possible.

Carers perform a wide variety of essential functions, from providing assistance with household administration such as bills and shopping to assisting with basic movement and bodily functions. The role of carer is a valuable career path for those interested in social care and support, but the role is also one foisted on family members and loved ones in dire circumstances; according to Carers UK, one in every eight adults are acting as a carer for someone, translating to one in seven members of the workforce.

For some, professional carers are an unaffordable expense, and yet carers are routinely underestimated and underpaid in their industry – a key signifier of the dire economic times in which we live. It may come to pass that you or a loved one require the formal services of a carer, either as a result of predictable health decline or via unexpected injury.

Catastrophic injuries can occur from freak accidents or failures in care. Indeed, there are rare occasions in which the healthcare you receive is negligent, and hence directly responsible for the worsening of your health. In these occasions, the potential compensation from hospital negligence claims would take into account yours or your loved one’s new care and support needs. But choosing the right care is a burden you shoulder. What makes a good carer?

Skills and Qualifications
Firstly, any formal carers you reach out to, should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the form of an attained qualification or rich career. Qualifications are not mandatory in order to practice as a carer but are useful signifiers of ability. Nursing qualifications are the most relevant to the duties of a formal carer.

A carer should also be a reliable presence in yours or your loved one’s life. They should be timely, so as to meet certain specific food or medication requirements; they should also be reliable enough to secure alternative arrangements in the event of their own indisposition.

A good carer is a communicative carer. Carers must be able to cater to a wide variety of differing needs in their patients and wards. Some may have communication issues, and some may need repeated coaching through specific actions. As such, a carer should be communicative about their actions in order to allay the worries and fears of those for whom they care.

Empathy and Love
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly of all, a carer should espouse love for their work and empathy for those with whom they work. For many that receive care, their carer is the only meaningful interaction they have in a day; knowing that the carer you have chosen is warm and friendly can be hugely settling for family members.