What does it mean to work in this field?
One of the biggest barriers that people with physical or sensory impairments have to overcome is a lack of confidence. Therefore, a large part of working in this area of social care would be to restore self-confidence and make life as easy and comfortable as possible for service users. It’s certainly a challenge, so you’ll have to be an inspiring and enthusiastic kind of person.
Social care roles in this area are all about working with people with sensory impairments, such as blind and partially sighted people, or those who are deaf or partially deaf. It’s also all about working with people that have physical impairments, such as service users suffering from multiple sclerosis.
What does it take to work in this field?
It’s a great idea to get some experience of working with people that have physical or sensory impairments, so pursuing volunteering opportunities would certainly be worthwhile in helping you to gain employment. There are many charities you could get involved with, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIP) and Action On Hearing Loss.
As far as qualifications are concerned, a degree isn’t necessary, but taking a course in social care would certainly boost your chances of securing a role you really want.
Candidates will need to show excellent communication skills and the ability to listen to, and inspire confidence in, their service users. Some service users will be very downbeat and lacking in drive. Consequently, you will need to be patient, sensitive and conscientious.
What roles could I be fulfilling?
Initially, your role would involve communicating with the service users (maybe even through sign language if the service user is deaf) and determining what their main concerns and problems are. This could be anything from a lack of confidence to talking about certain everyday tasks that they find particularly challenging.
Once the main problems have been assessed, it’s all about working with them to overcome them. This could mean creating confidence-building exercises, overseeing group therapy classes or researching products on the market that can make things easier for them.
Roles in this area aren’t necessarily just about looking after people – you are also working in order to help them to help themselves, be it through building up their confidence, pushing them towards autonomy, or encouraging them to take part in group activities and find a support network. This line of work is massively important and beneficial, and thus very rewarding.
If this sounds like something you are interested in getting involved with, it might just be the right career path for you!