DSW5 Carer of the Year

20 Reasons to work as a Home Carer

When chatting to a number of our home carers recently, we asked them why they like their choice of careers so much. Many had the same responses so we have paraphrased them here to share the twenty most popular reasons why working as a professional home carer is satisfying as well as enjoyable:

WSE - Sheila Doran

  1. I love working in a job where I am appreciated so much. My clients notice what I’ve done for them and it makes them happy too.
  2. I love making a difference to other people’s lives. I know what I do helps them to stay living independently in their own homes and my clients love to see me walking in the door.
  3. Caring for other people makes me feel valued.
  4. I have wonderful relationships with my clients. While I am doing their ironing or washing the floor, we’re laughing and chatting and having a banter. They enjoy telling me their stories, sometimes from years ago and I get pleasure from listening to them.
  5. I get great job satisfaction from my job and I love hearing good feedback from my reviewer.
  6. I enjoy the challenges, I like the responsibility of looking out for my clients and taking note if anything seems amiss.
  7. I enjoy the social interaction with clients and then meeting up with other carers at the Christmas party and other events.
  8. We get great support from the staff in our local office which makes a huge difference.
  9. I look forward to seeing my clients’ reaction when I walk in the door as they look forward to seeing me each day.
  10. My role is now a mixture of caring, client reviews and doing spot checks and I enjoy the variety.
  11. I treat my clients as though they are my own parents. Old age is going to come to us all so I care for people as I would like to be treated myself.
  12. I love ensuring that my clients look smart. One gentleman’s family call me his fashion designer as I co-ordinate his shoes, socks, shirts, cardigans and trousers. I know it makes him feel good.
  13. Sometimes I work other carers (there’s two of us caring for a client) and it’s a lovely way to get to know other carers too.
  14. I love seeing my clients thrive by staying in their own homes.
  15. The fact that we can train while working and the cost is subsidised is a huge advantage to me.
  16. I love caring and am in college training to be a social worker. I’m gaining valuable experience by working for Comfort Keepers and it suits perfectly that I can work at weekends and during the evenings.
  17. We had to relocate to another county a hundred miles away, I was able to register with the Comfort Keepers office in that county and had new clients within two weeks. It was wonderful knowing that I didn’t have to change jobs and also had the job security.
  18. I also love that every day is different and the work can be so varied.
  19. I work five days a week but have a day off midweek which I find really handy.
  20. I always wanted to be a nurse and feel that I am eventually working in my dream job.

As you can see, our home carers get immense satisfaction from their work, feel supported in their roles and enjoy making a difference in the lives of others. If you would also like to work as a professional home carer, do check out the nearest office to you to see our current job vacancies.

Home Care Job Vacancies

Comfort Keepers now has a number of home care vacancies across its 17 offices.

It's good to care

It’s Good To Care

Have you ever considered that getting a job where you help or care for others doesn’t just help your pocket, it helps to improve your own emotional wellbeing?

Whether you decide to help others by volunteering or take up a caring career, not only are you aiding others in feeling better but it’s good for your health too.

Why It Is Good To Care

1. When you focus on someone other than yourself, it actually helps to rid your own body of tension and stress. Therefore, when caring for someone else, your own body relaxes.

It's good to care

2. You give back and that increases your own self esteem and happiness. Whether you are volunteering within a charity shop or helping out at events, or working as a carer to help old people retain their independence and live in their own homes, you are, in effect, thanking them. One of our Comfort Keepers carers said recently that she feels that she is giving back something to older people for all the work they did when times were harder.

3. Some argue that a society is measured by the quality of care given to its elderly, its sick and its children. By helping others to live a fuller and better life, what goes around comes around too.

4. It’s great fun plus it’s a good way to get to know people. For example, by volunteering with youth organisations, for example, Scouts or the local GAA club, you’ll have great fun as well as seeing young people blossom.

5. By working as a carer, you’ll be helping adult children to care for their parents. Many adult children are working full-time, living a distance from their parents or would prefer to have a professional carer there too.

6. You get to know many more people through caring too – not just your clients and their families but the other carers too.

7. By volunteering or working as a carer, you can gain experience and perhaps work towards a new career. It is also a means to testing out a new line of work and future career. Student nurses or students in other healthcare roles enjoy working as professional carers as it gives them experience in that field as well as providing a good income. If you are thinking of working towards a career in nursing, training as a home carer means you gain good experience as well as knowing if that career is right for you.

8. It makes you happy and helps you be satisfied with your own life as well as your efforts. Knowing someone appreciates your company and your efforts is almost like being paid with solid gold.

Home Care Job Opportunities

If you would like to work as a professional home carer (and you can complete your training with us, Comfort Keepers subsidises the cost), do check out our Job Vacancies page as we have a number of vacancies in various offices.

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

Would You Like To Live To 112?

Did you hear that the world’s oldest man died this week? Aged 112 and ten months when he died, Yasutaro Koide was officially crowned the oldest man on the planet by Guinness World Records in August 2015. He claimed the secret to a long life was to avoid drinking and smoking, adding: “The best thing to do is avoid overwork and live with joy.”

Would you like to live to age 112? With the number of people exceeding one hundred years of age increasing year on year, it may be very possible that many of us currently middle-aged might get close or even exceed it.

What would you do if you knew you could live for much longer than you might expect? I think most of us presume that we’ll live until our 80s and perhaps our 90s (and even further if our ancestors lived to their 90s) but what if we had an extra decade or two. That would mean living up to four decades as a pensioner, even if the pensionable age continues to rise as it has done from 66 to 68. How much further might it go? Will we be working into our 70s as a matter of course? For many of us, pension planning can come far down on the list with the mortgage, household bills, childcare, medical bills and everyday living expenses coming to the fore. If you knew you would live for much longer, would you try to make more payments into a pension plan now?

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

Even as we age, how can we stay young at heart?

  1. Many people would argue that one of the keys to staying young is to socialise with people of different ages, learn about their different interests and hobbies, see how people interact with each other and forge new interests for themselves.
  2. Be positive. As you get older, you won’t be able to do everything you once did. Instead of playing football, you might play golf and then perhaps change to bowls. Focus on what you can do rather than concentrating on what you can’t do. Enjoy what you can still do rather than regretting what isn’t possible any more.  Sometimes slowing down means that you can enjoy your time ‘in the moment’ more. Walks around the garden or to the park may fill your senses more than ever before.
  3. Take up new hobbies, perhaps it is only now that you might find the courage or the time to do something that was always there on a wish list such as learn how to paint or write a book. A Kilkenny farmer, John Sherwood, wrote his first book (a memoir) at the age of 93. Initially it was planned as a unpublished memoir for his grandchildren but friends and family were so impressed, he self-published it and it’s on sale in some bookshops.
  4. Don’t worry or at least, only worry about things you can control. If you can control them, act to change them so they don’t worry any more. Don’t worry about the big things that you have no control over. Worry saps your energy and your enthusiasm.
  5. There isn’t a defined age at which people should retire so don’t bow to pressure to retire unless it is something you really want. Some people can afford to retire at 55 and decide to potter in the garden and travel for the next thirty years. Others recognise they would be bored and either continue working in the same job or start a new career if they have to retire from their work. To give you an example, we have a number of carers who started their homecare career at 60 when they retired from the civil service or similar positions.
  6. And as the world’s oldest man says, live with joy as much as you can.

Living a long healthy and happy life is something we all want and it just might be one step nearer to reality. What do you think? Would you love to live to 112? How age would you like to retire at?

Remember, if you would like a second career, this time in homecare, Comfort Keepers has a number of vacancies in its seventeen offices across Ireland. Why not apply today and see where this new career might take you.

Education in Home Care for Families

Ten Alterations for Safer Homes

As we get older, some changes have to be made to our homes, for example, to ensure ease of access to upstairs but there are many other smaller steps too that can be taken to ensure that everyone in the home stays safe and helps to prevent falls and accidents. Now that it is the new year, it may be a good time to do a check over your home and ensure it is safe for everyone, young and old. Many of these will also help older people to remain living independently and happily in their own home for longer.

Education in Home Care for Families

Alterations for Safer Living

  1. Grab bars by the toilet and bath are a good idea especially as standing up after a warm bath can make a person light headed. Walk in showers or baths are much easier than stepping over the side of a bath.
  2. Ensure there are light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Recessed lighting in the stairs or plug in night lights along the hall will prevent having to switch on main lights but yet provide enough light to see by.
  3. Install sensor lights outside the front and back doors as there’s nothing as irritating as trying to fit a key in the lock when it is dark. The sensor lights will improve the security of your home too.
  4. Doorknobs can be slippery and difficult for young and old hands to open. Changing doorknobs to door levers make them easier to open. The same goes for taps – lever type dual taps in kitchen and bathroom sinks are easier to turn on and off.
  5. Loose rugs can be a hazard so either ensure they are well fixed or  eliminate.The same goes for any loose electrical wires or small pieces of furniture such as stools or low coffee tables.
  6. Put non slip mats in the bathroom and in front of the sink and hob in the kitchen in case there’s a water spillage that isn’t noticed and could make tiles very slippery.
  7. Ensure there are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home, a fire blanket and a small dry chemical fire extinguisher on each floor.
  8. When cooking, ensure that the saucepan handles are turned towards the back of the stove in case someone accidently knocks against it. Don’t leave food cooking on the hob unattended or set a timer for when it should be almost done.
  9. Having portable phones available in a couple of different locations in the home is a good idea or many elderly people now wear a wristband alarm in case they fall and cannot move.
  10. Top loading washing machines and dryers can be easier for older people than the low front loading ones – anything that helps to prevent having to reach low or towards the floor can be a sensible move.

Have you made any alterations to your home that we haven’t mentioned here? Do let us know if you can think of any that we have omitted too.




Home Carers Wanted

What is a Home Carer?

A professional home carer or a home care worker is a person trained to look after someone (usually an elderly person) 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 x one hour visits in a day – every situation is different and is altered as needs be).

Home Carers Wanted

What work does a home carer do?

Every client has different needs but these tasks will be common to many:

  1. 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.
  2. Light housekeeping such as changing bedlinen, making beds, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, ironing and preparing meals are often part of the duties of a home carer.
  3. Reminding clients to take their medication.
  4. Running errands such as picking up prescriptions, returning library books, posting letters at the post office, picking up a few groceries or buying clothes. A carer will sometimes accompany the client on these errands or do them on the way to or from the client’s home.
  5. Bringing a client on a walk to the park or around the shops or spending time with them doing their favourite hobby such as crosswords or looking at old photographs.
  6. Providing respite care for family carers and getting to know them all well.
  7. Helping those with dementia on a short term or long term basis completing the duties above.
  8. 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 Carer

A home carer will have a professional qualification or will be completing their training with a QQI accredited training provider. Comfort Keepers subsidises the cost of this training. Many people coming into professional caring as a career have often cared for a member of their family or completed volunteer work. We also have carers who wanted to become nurses or therapists but for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. They decided to turn to caring 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 carers who worked at completely different careers for much of their lives and decided on a change, knowing that caring was something they were interested in.

It all starts with getting in contact with us for an application form. We have vacancies in many of our seventeen offices and you can check to see if the office nearest to you has vacancies at the moment. If it doesn’t, do keep checking back as these change on a week to week basis.

Why is home based care  important

Why Is Home Based Care So Popular?

Providing good care for older people becomes increasingly popular with an ageing population. Ireland’s population is growing as is the number of people aged over 65. To give you an example: In 1961, the number of people over 65 were 315,000. In 2011, there were 535,000. It is estimated that by 2041, there will be 1.4 million people over 65 in Ireland, comprising 22% of the population. The demand for more home based care is going to grow.

Why is home based care  important

But why is home based care so important?

  1. People want to stay living in their own communities, seeing their neighbours and friends on a regular basis and being able to live independently.
  2. Many people need minimum help to enable them to stay in their own home, for example, meals on wheels, medication reminders, companionship, or help with washing and dressing. Much can be achieved within a 30 or 60 minute visit per day.
  3. An elderly person may live with other family members who are away working during the day so they may need a visit during the day to check on them.
  4. Family members sometimes need a break be it a carer to look after a parent when they are on holiday or give them a rest during the week or a chance to go shopping or out for a daily walk. This also means that they can discuss the level of care with a professional and get a second opinion from another carer. Respite care can be a godsend for family carers as it is important they look after their own mental and physical health too.
  5. People often find it difficult to find the motivation to cook for just themselves so getting a home cooked prepared meal helps their emotional and physical wellbeing.
  6. Security is an issue for those living on their own and knowing they will be visited every day brings comfort and reassurance to the client and their families.
  7. Mental stimulation daily is important too so whether it is chatting about the events in the news headlines or doing the daily crossword with someone, the company can make it more enjoyable too.
  8. The average age of care recipients in Ireland is 76 (2009). Having home based care means they can stay in their own homes for many years.
  9. By staying in their own homes, people can retain much of their habits and hobbies such as being able to watch their favourite TV programme when they want, keep a pet and stay in the same community.

Can you think of any other reasons? Care in a nursing home has its place in society of course but most older people can manage very well with just a little weekly or daily help in their own. With the increasing ageing population, there is going to be more demand for home based care.

Providing high quality care for our clients in Ireland is a top priority for Comfort Keepers. With the increasing numbers of people requiring care, we are currently recruiting for home carers in many of our seventeen offices.  If you feel that you would like to work for Comfort Keepers as a home carer, do contact us via our website or Facebook page.

Orla Condren (Operations Manager), Tippula Mangan, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

Why Be A Home Care Worker?

If you are wondering if homecare is the right choice of career for you, this might help you to decide. Working in homecare isn’t for everyone. It is true that some people just are not suited to the role but this makes it all the more special when carers find themselves in the ideal job, when they love heading out to work every day and when their clients love to see them walking in the door. Being a home carer takes special qualities, the most important being having a caring nature. Everything else can be taught, you can do courses in first aid and manual handling and all the other important aspects of home care, but being caring is a natural attribute.

Why Do Home Carers Enjoy Their Work?

Here are some of the quotes from some of our home carers in Comfort Keepers to demonstrate why they enjoy their role so much, why they moved from another career, why they consider it hardly work at all.

Orla Condren (Operations Manager), Tippula Mangan, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

Michael Dempsey: “I enjoy chatting to my clients and making a difference to their day. I like seeing that they are happy and relaxed in my company. It feels good being able to remove any of their anxieties or worries.”

Jean Bennett: “I always wanted to be a nurse but after school, I went to work in a factory. I see my career in caring as a dream job. Being a good carer involves having an understanding for older people and having an interest in them as individuals.”

Philomena Heffernan: “I love seeing my clients thrive and knowing they are so happy being able to stay in their own homes and communities.”

Mark Graham: “I love my job, it often doesn’t feel like work at all. Being rurally based, it can mean there’s a drive between clients but that’s the only disadvantage.”

Mary Dooley: “I love seeing a smile on their faces when I walk in the door. I always pay attention to detail in helping them choose their clothes too and have had family members comment on how co-ordinated their clothes are. It’s the little details that can make all the difference.”

Sandra Kennedy: “I think the top qualities are being reliable and punctual (as some older people can become distressed if their carer is late), as well as being patient and understanding. Being a good listener is also important.”

Tippula Mangan: “I like the focus, the need to be organised, it gives a great sense of satisfaction. Every day is different, no two days are never the same.”

Mosunmola Kasali: “You must be a hard worker as caring for someone doesn’t just involve offering companionship, the hour goes by very quickly with lots to do.


A typical appointment with a client starts with greeting them and logging in. The tasks vary from cooking, doing laundry, some cleaning, helping them take a shower, doing some ironing, to having time to sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat. You do have to be regimental and organised particularly as most appointments are 60-90 minutes yet there is always time to chat over a cup of tea or while doing a task like ironing.

As you can see from the quotes above, home care is a rewarding career choice. It can be hard work, the time flies as you’re busy, and you’ll make great friends with many of your clients too.

Home Care Vacancies

Within Comfort Keepers, we have vacancies for home carers in many of our 17 offices. You can complete your training while working and we subsidise up to 80% of the cost of the training. Contact us or apply here for your new career as a Comfort Keepers Home Carer.

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

How To Alleviate Loneliness in Others

Do you know someone who is lonely? Are you lonely?

Why are more people lonely than ever before? With improved transport, increased use of communication tools and the easy availability of technology such as radio and television, it may seem incredible but it is indeed the case. One in ten people in Britain are experiencing loneliness to such an extent it is affecting their health and can increase the onset of health problems such as dementia, high blood pressure and depression.

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

What are the reasons for this? People are living for longer. More people are living on their own as society becomes wealthier.  The norm in society is now a nuclear family of parents and children rather than having the extended family within the same house.  In rural Ireland, the retired farming couple or the widowed mother-in-law tend to live in a bungalow on the farm or in a ‘granny flat’ rather than in the same house as the younger couple. People tend to move away to other cities or countries to work and it often happens that elderly adults often don’t have any relations living within 20 or 30 miles of their home. Therefore, they don’t always have children, siblings or other relations popping in for a regular call.


What can we, as members of our own communities, do to help combat loneliness?

  • Play a part in calling to see neighbours even on a weekly basis. Many people call to see neighbours at Christmas but why not do it at other times of the year too.
  • We can help neighbours to become socially connected by encouraging them to take up internet training or computer classes. Sometimes even half an hour showing them how to use skype might be all they need to have regular contact with relatives at the other side of the world.
  • Offer them a lift. Older people often prefer not to drive in the dark, finding the headlamps disorientating so it’s particularly important to offer lifts during the winter months when it gets dark so early.  If you attend something such as a whist game or a book club meeting on a weekly or monthly basis, invite an elderly neighbour along.
  • Daycare centres offer elderly people a warm and inviting welcome, where they receive a hot dinner and can chat to many like-minded people.
  • Call in for a chat on a regular basis, even if it is just a case of dropping in with a copy of the newspaper and chatting about the main headlines. Try not to call in when their favourite television programmes are on though!
  • Invite one or two of your neighbours over for a family dinner or afternoon tea.

Remember – if you are calling to see an elderly person once a week, you will get a huge amount from it too. You’ll be able to have copious cups of tea (don’t forget to bring some cake) and you’ll hear lots of entertaining stories, many from long ago.

Many of our Comfort Keepers Home Carers offer a companionship service as well as providing home help and personal care. When family live far away, having a caring and compassionate person visit can make the world of difference. Contact us if you would like to find out more either in terms of booking a carer for a relative or becoming a home carer yourself.


Comfort Keepers, Recruiting

Why More Homecarers Are Required

At present 90% of frail older people in Ireland live at home, with 80% of them living well and independently, according to an article in a recent Irish Independent newspaper. One in five people aged over 85 reside in a nursing home which means, of course, that four out of five people over 85 years of age live at home. Many of these live totally independently, able to drive, cooking for themselves, even doing volunteer work, writing memoirs. Others need a little help to stay living in their own home and live independently. Often an hour a day is all that is needed, be it companionship, help with housework, reminders to take medication, or some help with washing and dressing.

Comfort Keepers, Recruiting

As each year passes, there will be more demand for home carers. The CSO is projecting that for every two person who were aged 85 or older in 2011, there will be a third person living in this age category by 2021. Of course, it is wonderful that people are living longer and as a society, we embrace and celebrate that fact. However, we must also realise that more caregivers are required to help older members of society remain in their own homes for as long as they wish to do so.

Many of our home carers at Comfort Keepers are those who decide on a new career in their thirties, forties, fifties and yes, even when they retire. Many decide to become home carers when children are reasonably independent or after spending time caring for an elderly parent or relative. It’s often after caring for someone that people realise their natural aptitude for this career.

With more people living on their own and living longer, there will be a continual need for home carers of the best quality and at Comfort Keepers, we fund 80% of the cost of the training required plus it can be completed while working. If you would like to become a carer in 2016, do contact us at Comfort Keepers for an application form.

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

Home Care: A New Career for 2016

Would You Like A Change in Career? What About Home Care?

Some of these situations may describe yours. These are the common lifestyles for many of our homecarers working for Comfort Keepers, or they were before they started working.

  • Have you always wanted to work as a nurse or in healthcare? Are you fed up of your current job and would like a change? Our winning Carer of the Year in 2015 worked in a factory for many years before deciding on a career as a home carer.
  • Are your children in school? Would you like to work part-time so you can work when they are in school and be home for them in the afternoons?
  • Would you like to work full-time hours but not necessarily 9-5? Maybe working one or two weekdays plus weekends would suit you best?
  • Are you a student? Would you like to work in healthcare in the evenings and at weekends? Many of our homecarers are students, including Mosunmula who was a finalist in our Carer of the Year awards. She is in her final year of studying social care and works weekends and evenings.
  • Are you retired, active and would like to work again? Yet again, one of our Carer of the Year finalists, Michael Dempsey, fits that category. Not only does he work full-time but he’s so good at it, he was a finalist in 2015. If you are caring and active, home care could be the perfect new career for you.


What Working in Home Care Involves

If you’re not sure what home care involves, do read on to get an idea but it’s also a good idea to chat to someone who is working as a homecarer or give us a ring in the office nearest to you. The work can vary from client to client – some will require help with personal care, some will need assistance with light housekeeping, some will want companionship and help with the daily crossword. Every day, every visit and every client are different but all homecarers have to be trustworthy, kind, caring, reliable and professional.

  • You will clock in and out as you arrive and leave your client’s apartment or house. Being punctual is important. Depending on whether it is a city or rural location, home carers drive, cycle, walk or take the bus to travel around.
  • You will be providing light housekeeping such as changing the bed, cleaning the bathroom, washing the kitchen floor or helping to prepare lunch.
  • You will be assisting the client with their personal care, for example, bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming and oral hygiene.
  • You will help to ensure that a client’s nutritional needs are being met – these can include tasks such as helping to prepare meals, planning meals, tidying up after a meal.
  • You might accompany your client on a walk to the park or around their garden or sit and do the daily crossword with them for a while.
  • You may be reminding clients to take their self-administered medication.
  • You will be observing and reporting any changes in the client’s condition to your supervisor.
  • You will be establishing and maintaining a good and professional relationship with clients and their family members. You’ll find that you will get to know them all really well.
  • You will be ably supported by your supervisor and all the office staff.
  • You can complete your training with Comfort Keepers over a time period of two years, we provide funding for up to 80% of the training cost.
  • After time, you may be promoted to other roles within Comfort Keepers if you would like that opportunity.

Our homecarers love their work. When speaking to them and asking what they like best about their jobs, the answer always revolves around “I like seeing them smile when I walk in the door”, “I love talking to and working with older people” and “I enjoy treating them like they are my parents”.

Vacancies in Home Care

We currently have a number of vacancies in our seventeen offices around the country.  We are looking for more excellent people to be our homecarers.  You can search on our careers page by filtering for your region or area and seeing what jobs are available. Remember to check back weekly as this page is updated frequently. If you’re looking for a new career in 2016, do act now and in the new year and we’d be delighted to hear from you.