Deciding to work in a nursing home or provide home care as a care support worker should depend on your personality, skills and lifestyle. Discover which environment suits you best in this blog.
By beginning a career in care, you’ve already embarked on a fulfilling pathway promising potential opportunities, professional progression, and personal reward.
But the beauty of care work is also found in the variety, with different environments and specific fields available to pursue. And a simple example of this can be whether to work in a nursing home or provide home care.
Both environments and services are founded on the same principles of enabling independent living and quality care for those in need. But both differ significantly across the general day-to-day dynamics of working life.
So, to help you decide which option best suits you, we’ve put together a simple guide.
Nursing Home or Home Care?
An official market study showed the UK care homes sector is worth £15.9 billion annually, with around 410,000 residents. On the other side, predictions for the home care or “domiciliary care” industry state it will increase by 2.8% in the five years leading from 2022.
Within each sector in a, there are pathways that promise jobs and opportunities for career growth.
Nursing homes provide a natural destination for those with care or nursing needs. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift to home care, with 38% of over 65-year-olds opting for home care.
The main reasons for the shift in these care preferences include:
But despite a shift in recent years to home and domiciliary care, nursing homes still provide numerous benefits for their residents, families, and staff.
Many residents enjoy nursing home life, with access to constant care and stimulation of a diverse social environment. They can make new friends and enjoy activities. Nursing homes relieve stress on family members and offer a safe place with a healthy routine for residents and staff too.
So, for an adult social care worker, deciding between home care or working in a nursing home should rest on the differences both roles offer and how they suit your personality, skills and lifestyle.
When working in a nursing home, you really feel part of a home community and work in a larger team. While working in homecare, you often work on a 1:1 basis and some support calls with another colleague.
Let’s have a look at these comparisons between nursing homes and home care in more detail:
What Are the Advantages of Home-Based Care?
Working in client’s homes allows adult social care workers to provide one-on-one support and follow personalised care plans for individual clients within the comfort of their own homes. As an individualised approach to care, clients can maintain the independence to carry on routines and sustain relationships with their local community.
As a home care support worker, you will generally have greater autonomy and choice over your work schedules. This routine and environment can suit individuals who appreciate more flexibility to fulfil their work/life balance or to help manage other commitments.
Providing care in close intimate settings can offer greater job satisfaction and emotional benefits for social workers in adult social care. For example, you get to see the benefits of your care first-hand, which can feed your fulfilment, knowing you’re making a significant difference in a person’s life.
What Are the Advantages of Nursing Home Care?
As a nursing home care worker, you can enjoy a controlled environment with a routine, providing stability for residents and staff. Plus, you have greater access to resources and help if you need to have that team around you.
With nursing homes required to employ at least five team members, you can enjoy building professional and personal relationships with colleagues while feeling an integral part of a team providing the highest quality care to your residents. Working collaboratively can boost professional networking opportunities and enable you to learn from other experienced staff members too.
Although you’ll be working in a structured and supportive environment, nursing homes are the home of a variety of residents of all backgrounds with life stories to tell and diverse needs to accommodate. So, no day will ever be the same. You’ll also learn a lot about different perspectives along the way.
Home Care vs Nursing Home: The Final Verdict
Nursing homes and home-based care are both challenging and rewarding. Essentially, the best choice for your career is down to you and the type of person you are. For example, if you enjoy working independently and providing one on one care to your clients then the benefits of home care may suit you better.
However, if you prefer a structured and controlled environment and want to feel part of a team, perhaps a care work career in nursing homes is more up your street. But remember, while the skills are transferable, if you try one pathway and it’s not quite right, it’s never too late to try a completely different environment or field in adult social care.
Start a Fulfilling, Life-Affirming Career in Care
At Herefordshire Cares, you’ll find adult social care jobs across Herefordshire.
From Home Care Support Workers to Reablement Wellbeing Assistants and Care Manager Positions, we have a diverse range of roles to suit various skill sets and preferences.