The role of carers in Ireland

A carer is a person whose role is to care for an individual that requires regular assistance due to illness, disability or an inability to do certain tasks on their own. The duties and responsibilities of a carer can vary from day-to-day. 

People who care for family members, partners or close friends are often unpaid carers who work long hours, often up to 24 hours a day. The role of a family carer can develop quickly from part-time to full-time and is important that they receive support and assistance in their challenging duties. In these scenarios, a healthcare assistant can step in to help. Comfort Keepers’ healthcare assistants are professionally trained with QQI modules and comprehensive induction training so that they are fully prepared for any challenge associated with homecare.  

Carers can come from any demographic of age or background and the role can develop gradually or suddenly. Their work ranges from helping with personal care to running errands and helping with housekeeping and meal preparation or the provision of companionship and support. Every carer’s experience is different and they face a wide range of responsibilities. 

In Ireland, our population is increasing and, due to improved medical options, we are living longer lives. This means it is becoming more likely that most of us will be a carer at some point in our lives. At the moment, 8% of all adults – 350,000 people – in Ireland are working as unpaid carers. Carers play a key role in Irish society and it is incredibly important that they are provided with support options. Without them, many vulnerable people would not be able to live independent lives and would potentially have to enter a hospital or other facilities where they are unable to continue their regular lives at home. 

At Comfort Keepers, we provide that vital support through our 1200 carers nationwide. We work in the community and within the HSE, to offer respite to family carers through our services by taking on their duties and sharing the workload on a part-time basis. Comfort Keepers offers high-quality, conscientious part-time care where we prioritise the needs of our clients and their family members.

Some of the common duties and responsibilities of a carer

  • General personal care; helping with bathing, washing hair, incontinence, dressing, movement, walking
  • Light housekeeping; changing bed linen, making beds, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, ironing and preparing meals
    Reminding clients to take their medication.
  • Running errands; picking up prescriptions, returning library books, posting letters at the post office, picking up a few groceries or buying clothes.
  • Bringing a client on walks or around the shops or spending time with them doing their favourite hobby 
  • Providing respite care for family carers 
  • Helping those with dementia on a short term or long term basis completing the duties above.
  • Live-In Care and assistance

Homecare is a vital part of Irish life and is an area that deserves support and effective resources. Comfort Keepers’ carers can help a vulnerable person and their loved ones get the care and help that they need to live their best lives.