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).
What work does a home carer 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 bedlinen, making beds, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, ironing and preparing meals are often part of the duties of a home carer.
- Reminding clients to take their medication.
- 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.
- 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.
- Providing respite care for family carers and getting to know them all well.
- 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 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.