Residential versus Home care - the pro's and cons

14 Oct 2018 5:39 PMJen Fitzgerald
Residential versus Home care - the pro's and cons

An in-depth look at each workplace. They both have good points and not so good. Factors like your family situation, lifestyle and your availability will determine which is best for you.

Work hours

R

  • Set shift times. Lots of work on offer although you can end up doing too many shifts and feel exhausted.
  • Hours may not suit workers with young families. You can ask for particular shifts but you may not get exactly what you want. Employers ideally want workers who are available 7 days AM and PM.

H:

  • if you start in an established run with no downtime between clients, then that is ideal. However, you may be sitting around for hours for your next client or if a client cancels mid-run. You won’t get paid for the downtime nor petrol to attend a client when there are hours in between.

Personal Care – general support worker tasks

R:

  • Personal care, transferring, meals, assist with feeding, general cleaning up and assisting in and out of bed are all part of the job.

H:

  • Same tasks as above but you may be making dinner or breakfast as well. Other tasks unique to home care may be taking the dog for a quick walk, putting a load of washing on, going food shopping or light house cleaning.

Workload

R

  • You will have 10-15 residents to look after in a shift. Every independent resident requires being showered within 10-15 minutes. If you are lucky kitchen staff or volunteers will help in the kitchen.
  • You are on your feet for 7.5 hours.

H:

  • You may have between 2- 5 clients per shift. So approximatively 20 minutes per shower, 1 hour to clean and/or 15 minutes to prepare a light meal.
  • The workload is immensely slower compared to residential.

Main differences

R:

  • You work with staff around you all shift. Plus, other health professionals, management and family. It is a busy busy workplace.
  • Work hours are set.
  • Medical conditions of residents are generally more serious and complex
  • The resident’s ability to be independent is lower.

H:

  • You work on your own- family may be present or not.
  • It is one to care and although not busy like residential, you have only a set time to get tasks done.
  • Over a day you can spend hours driving between clients.
  • There may be downtime in between clients (unpaid in some cases) and client cancellations may mean the day (and your pay) gets cut short.
  • Only a small number of clients means the work can get repetitive.

Main similarities

  • Working with vulnerable people
  • Pay rate is similar

If you like this article read this >> 6 things the world should know about home care workers