Do you want to become a home care assistant in Ireland but don’t know where to start? Read our guide to find out everything you need to know about starting your caregiving career.
What is A Home Care Assistant?
The term “home care assistant” refers to a trained non-medical professional who assists people in their homes with everyday tasks. The primary role of a home care assistant is to improve the client’s quality of care. Home care assistants also provide respite for family members who need a break from caregiving activities. As such, the services they provide will vary depending on the patient’s unique situation and needs. Home care assistants typically work with older adults, children, people with disabilities, and the chronically ill.
What are the Different Types of Home Care Assistants in Ireland?
- Many Care assistants specialise in the provision of home care services. Home care can either be private home care which is paid directly by the client or their family or it can be a home care package which is funded by the HSE. Home Care involves caring for patients in the comfort of their own home.
- Palliative care involves the provision of home care support services to terminally ill patients and their families.
- Some home care assistants provide specialist care to people with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
- In some cases, care assistants provide overnight home care services to clients.
Typical Care Assistant Roles & Responsibilities
- Home care assistants are usually employed by home care companies who in turn are hired either directly by the client or engaged by the HSE to provide care in the home.
- In order to provide home care packages for the HSE home care companies must be an approved home care provider.Home care assistants can help clients with general personal care. This includes tasks such as bathing, washing hair, and getting dressed.
- They may also assist with housekeeping jobs such as preparing meals, changing bedlinen, cleaning, and doing the laundry.
- They may remind clients to take their medication or provide mobility assistance.
- A key part of home care services is the provision of companionship. Home care assistants may sometimes bring clients out and about or spend time doing their favourite hobby.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Work as a Home Care Assistant in Ireland?
To apply for home care assistant vacancies in Ireland, you will need a relevant FETAC/QQI Level 5 qualification or an equivalent healthcare qualification. This QQI training will need to be completed with a QQI accredited training provider. If you are interested in working in home care, then the following QQI awards may be useful to you:
- QQI Health Service Skills
- QQI Community Health Services
- QQI Healthcare Support
- QQI Care Skills
- QQI Care of the Older Person
You will also be required to undergo Garda Vetting. This is a background check which is completed by the National Vetting Bureau to see if a person has a criminal record. This process must be completed by anyone who will perform any work or activity which involves access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable persons.
What Skills & Qualities Do You Need to Be A Successful Caregiver?
To be a successful home care assistant, you will need to have a passion for helping others. As such, it is important to have a compassionate and empathic personality. Patience is also key, and it’s important to try to put yourself in the client’s shoes. It helps to have a cheerful, outgoing, and friendly personality and good listening skills. As a care assistant, you will have a responsibility to maintain the dignity of your patients. As such, discretion and professionalism are crucial qualities. Reliability, honesty and punctuality are also important traits.
5 Reasons to Become A Home Care Assistant
- Working as a care assistant can be highly rewarding as you are improving the quality of life of both the client themselves and their loved ones. You will be able to leave work every day knowing that you have made a positive difference in someone’s life.
- Caregiving is as much about providing companionship as it is about providing physical care. You will build real relationships with clients, as well as their family and friends. If you are something of a social butterfly, then you will enjoy the social aspect of caregiving.
- Working in care is a great way to get involved in the local community and work close to home. As a home care assistant, you will meet lots of new people in your area including clients and their families, as well as a wider network of carers and healthcare professionals.
- The home care sector offers plenty of career opportunities as Ireland’s population is getting older. Experts predict that the number of people aged 65 or over in Ireland will rise to 1.4 million by the year 2041 (up from 468,000 in 2006). This means that there will be plenty of job openings in this area.
- If the idea of a 9-to-5 job seems off-putting to you, then a career in care could be a great choice. As a home care assistant, you can work part time or full time and will enjoy flexible hours which will allow you to fit your work around your other commitments.
Building Caregiving Experience
If you are curious about working in the home care sector, then it is advisable to gain some experience. Many professional carers have personal experience caring for a family member. Alternatively, you could build skills by volunteering at a charity or community organisation. Some options include your local Meals on Wheels service, or at a national organisation such as Alone or Age Action Ireland.
This will allow you to evaluate whether professional caregiving is a good fit for you. What’s more, it will look good on your CV and will be sure to impress employers. Building up experience will also enable you to start developing a professional network who may prove to be useful as you look for work later down the line.
Want to Work A Care Assistant in Ireland? Talk to Us!
If you would like to learn more about how to become a home care assistant in Ireland, then please get in touch with the team at Be Independent Home Care today. Alternatively, you can check out our dedicated home care assistant jobs page which details all of our current openings across Dublin. We’re sure you’d love working with us as we were recently voted as the second-best company to work for in Ireland!