This job is very different depending on whether you are in a medical home or a behavioral home. In a medical home, you are constantly moving, lifting, preparing meals, administering medications, helping with toileting or changing adult diapers, helping feed people, helping with personal hygiene...basically, you end up being a person's body and house keeper. In a behavioral home, you have a lot less that you're doing because people are generally mobile. They can help you with house chores, they can toilet themselves, and generally don't need you in the same way. However, you end up having to deal with angry and violent people.
Depending on which house you're at and who your residents are, this is a very rewarding job. Personally, I prefer being in a medical home. You help take care of people who can't take care of themselves, and I made many friendships with my co-workers, residents, as well as residents' families. However, there are always a few "baddies" in the bunch.
Some co-workers do not follow the rules and/or honestly do not care about the people you're supposed to be taking care of. Some residents are really difficult to work with because of behavioral issues, and are abusive to the staff (verbally and physically aggressive). And if you can't deal with bodily functions, you really aren't going to be able to make it in this line of work.
My experience has been that you can't expect any help from management when you have trouble with a co-worker or a resident. You are expected to either deal with it, or leave the company. When you are in a county where you are part of – more... a union, you are not treated as "part of the company", but that's to be expected really. It just seems like in a union, they are constantly looking for an excuse fire you if they can. When you aren't in a union, there is more of a "team atmosphere" between management and care-giving staff. They try their darnedest to keep you around if you are a good worker because they don't want to have to hire and train someone new.
There is really no room for advancement. The benefits are alright, medical etc. You have to complete a LOT of training, on the job, online, and in a classroom, but once you're trained, you only need to take refresher courses occasionally, and you're paid to go to the classroom trainings. – less