Guide to becoming a Home Support Worker

If you’re doing a bit of research for what could be your dream job, you’ve come to the right place. You may have what feels like a vocation to take on one of the many Healthcare Assistant jobs in the community. You’ll definitely have a positive, cheerful attitude and a gift for listening. Diving into your new career within the Homecare Sector and working as a Home Support Worker means you’re likely to be wondering about the challenges you’ll face. Read on for the answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before embarking on a new chapter in your life. 

What Does a Home Support Worker Do? 

 As a professional Healthcare or Homecare worker, it will be your job to look after service users, often older people, in their own homes. The role focuses on helping people live their lives with dignity and as independently as possible.  

Here are some of the key duties of Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) whose jobs involve home visits:  

  • Carrying out a homecare plan that could include bathing, dressing and feeding  
  • Helping a client to use the toilet and/or to deal with incontinence issues 
  • Assisting clients with getting into the right position and with gentle exercise 
  • Light housework such as changing and making beds and house-cleaning  
  • Preparing meals and running errands with or without the client  
  • Helping to ensure clients adhere to taking the correct medication 
  • Offering companionship and support to clients along with respite for family carers 
  • Maintaining careful records of visits  
  • Adhering to health and safety regulations when using equipment such as hoists  
  • Keeping across company policy and attending training courses as required

What Qualifications Do Healthcare Assistant Jobs Require? 

To become an HCA in Ireland you’ll have to gain the required FETAC/QQI Level 5 qualification or equivalent. You can only complete your QQI training with an accredited provider.  

Comfort Keepers offers the two mandatory modules, Care of the Older Person and Care Skills free of charge. This all takes place through our sister company Elevation Training.  

These QQI qualifications are necessary for those wishing to work in the community in one of our Healthcare Assistant jobs:   

  • Care and Health Service Skills 
  • Care of the Older Person and Community Health Services 

There’s extra training available for anyone wanting to work in disability services. All HCAs must comply with the Garda Vetting process. This can usually take between 14 and 28 days. 

Do I Need Previous Experience in the Homecare Sector? 

Any knowledge you already have of looking after others is going to help. Many skills you’ll need are transferable from previous jobs, training or life experiences. You might, for example, have been caring for a family member or worked as a volunteer for a charity.  

Some of those who provide our homecare services had wanted to be nurses or therapists but for various reasons, this wasn’t possible. What matters is that you have a passion for caring about the needs of others. 

Many carers decide to join the homecare sector later on in life. They may have had completely different careers, have long harboured a desire to work as a carer and are seeking a change.  

What Do Comfort Keepers Look For in a Homecare Support Worker? 

We know that being a home support worker such as a Health Care Assistant takes a certain type of person and a great deal of skill. You need to have a genuine interest in helping others regardless of their condition.

Caring for clients in their own homes takes patience, emotional resilience and an ability to empathise. You’ll be professional and have excellent communication skills.  

You’ll have the ability to listen and connect with others. Reacting sensitively to both clients and their families in a non-judgemental way will come naturally. It’ll be an integral part of your personality. 

You’ll often have to think on your feet and come up with solutions to problems on your own and at a moment’s notice. Because our services are time-limited, you’ll need to be able to manage your hours calmly and efficiently.  

Although you’ll spend much of your working life in the homes of our clients, you will still be part of a team. That means being cooperative and supportive to others in the Comfort Keepers crew.  

You’ll be conscientious, dependable and flexible. Having a great sense of humour definitely helps in this line of work! 

Will I Work Fixed Hours as a Home Support Worker? 

Something many of our Healthcare Assistants who work in the homes of their clients tell us that they love is the variety of their work. Every person they care for will have different needs.  

So, although you may be working a set number of hours each week, how long you spend in each of the homes you visit is likely to vary. Some clients may need just an hour or two of your time, whilst others might need much longer.  

What Are Some of the Key Benefits of Working for Comfort Keepers? 

 We offer all our homecare workers extremely competitive rates of pay. Our services cover most of Ireland, so there could be job vacancies wherever you’re based. There are contracts available no matter how many hours you can put in.  

We offer free training for Level 5 QQI qualifications, Care of the Older Person and Care Skills. We provide a uniform and full PPE free of charge. There’s a fortnightly payroll and a 24/7 support team. Carers can also benefit from discounted health, life and car insurance. 

There are great prospects for career development within the Comfort Keepers organisation. Many of our Healthcare Assistants have gone on to work as managers or in other administrative roles, for example. 

How Do I Apply for a Position as a Home Support Worker With Comfort Keepers? 

We’re always on the lookout for talented individuals to fill homecare roles and Healthcare Assistant jobs. If you want to join one of Ireland’s most successful and thriving home care providers, we’d love to hear from you.  

Check here for the jobs we currently have available. Here is a link for an application form you can fill in and submit right now.