Become a Carer
A professional home care assistant or a home care worker is a person trained to look after someone in their own home for varying lengths of time (some people may need help for half an hour a day, others may need visits of two hours per duration, others may require three one-hour visits in a day – every situation is different and is altered as needs be).
What work does a home care assistant do?
Every client has different needs, but these tasks will be common to many:
- Providing general personal care such as helping with bathing, washing hair, incontinence, and dressing. Clients sometimes require help with moving into a correct position or getting gentle walking exercise.
- Light housekeeping such as changing bed linen, making beds, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, and preparing meals are often part of the duties of a home care assistant.
- Reminding clients to take their medication.
- Running errands such as picking up prescriptions, returning library books, posting letters at the post office, or picking up a few groceries. A care assistant will sometimes accompany the client on these errands or do them on the way to or from the client’s home.
- Bringing a client on a walk to the park or around the shops or spending time with.
- Helping those with dementia on a short term or long-term basis completing the duties above.
- Companionship is important too, so it is important to be cheery and positive, ready for a chat and to listen to their stories.
How To Become a Home Care Assistant?
A home care assistant will have a professional qualification or will be completing their training with a QQI accredited training provider. Many people coming into professional caring as a career have often cared for a member of their family or completed volunteer work. They decided to turn to care at a certain stage in their lives (e.g., when children start or leave school) and find they love it, it really is their vocation. We also have care assistants who worked at completely different careers for much of their lives and decided on a change, knowing that caring was something they were meant to do.
It all starts with getting in contact with us for an application form. We have many vacancies across Ireland.
What qualifications do you need to become a Home Care Assistant?
All home care workers must have achieved, at a minimum, a QQI Level 5 certificate in Care Skills and Care of the Older Person and be working towards achieving a major award in healthcare. Within these first two modules, you will learn in detail about the skills and knowledge required to deliver quality care to elderly and vulnerable people. At the end of the course, you will be assessed through assignments and skill demonstrations.
Homecare – A Rewarding Career
In 2018, the Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI), the representative organisation for private home care providers in Ireland, estimated that some.
- 40,000 people are employed in home care across the public, voluntary and private sectors with,
- Demand for home care services set to increase by 50% over the next eleven years,
- Creating a demand for 20,000 additional jobs in the home care sector.
If you are looking for a secure, long term and rewarding career where you can make a difference to the lives of our clients while protecting against loneliness and isolation in the community, consider a career in homecare with us.
Home Care Assistant Responsibilities
Home Care Assistant’s first priorities to ensure older people are safe and comfortable at home are:
- Personal Care: being clean and comfortable which may include assistance with toileting and incontinence
- Food and Fluid Intake: check food is available, shopping lists are updated, meal preparation and assistance with eating
- Medication Prompts: Home Care Assistants prompt for medication reminders
After these priority areas are checked, and time permitting, Home Care Assistants will clean and tidy your personal space, usually the bedroom and kitchen. (Note this duty only extends to your needs not those of other family members or other residents in the house).
They are also trained in communications skills. They are mindful that some of their clients may not have much social contact – and perhaps none since their last visit – and so will chat and provide companionship.