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  Eileen Faherty
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Occupation Details

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Home Help Assistant

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€26k > 42 
Home Help Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€26 - 42 
Related Information:
Trainees: 26 - 29
Qualified: 32 - 42
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Home help assistants work with people who, perhaps through illness, a physical or learning disability or a mental health problem, need support to cope within their own home.


The Work header image

Home Help is there to ensure that some of the people who might otherwise be admitted to institutional care for social reasons could continue to live at home. Home help assistants support the personal care of people who need help to cope within their own home. This may be because of illness, a physical disability or a problem related to old age.  
 
The assistant's aim is for the client to keep as much independence and quality of life as they can. As far as possible, this means that they enable people rather than just helping them, looking for ways to improve or maintain their self-sufficiency, and therefore helping clients to keep their dignity.  
 
Home help assistants may visit up to eight people a day, spending between forty-five minutes and an hour with each person. Some people need intensive help, so the care assistant will visit in the evening and at weekends, as well as for longer periods during the week. Sometimes, a home help assistant will live with a client who needs round-the-clock care, for example, up to two weeks and then have time off before returning to live in.  
 
Home help assistants help and enable a wide variety of people. They may visit elderly people who are frail or have Alzheimer's disease, people who are partially sighted or blind, have mental health problems or physical disabilities, or progressive illnesses. They may help single parents with disabilities to look after their children.  
 
The level of personal care given by an assistant depends on the client's needs and ability. On a morning visit, the first task may be to help clients wash or bathe. Next, the assistant may help clients to dress, prepare breakfast and feed themselves. They take clients to and from the toilet whenever necessary.  
 
During the day, home help assistants do a number of tasks to make the client's life as comfortable as possible. They may clean and tidy the house, make and change beds, and wash clothes. On an evening visit, they may prepare a meal and help clients get undressed and go to bed. It is also a responsibility of home help assistants to remind clients to take their medication. 

As well as helping with physical tasks, home help assistants give emotional and social support to people who would otherwise feel lonely and isolated. Assistants often develop trust and friendship with the people they look after. They listen and talk to clients, discuss their worries and concerns, and give reassurance. They help people to keep in touch with family, friends and the community. They may do the client's shopping, collect benefit or pension money, or help them to pay bills.

Home help assistants play a vital role as the contact point between the social services department and the client. They must report back to the department on any changes in the client's mental or physical health, or other circumstances.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Maintain records of patient care, condition, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.

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Check patients' pulse, temperature, and respiration.

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Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs, or automobiles and with dressing and grooming.

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Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.

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Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.

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Administer prescribed oral medications, under the written direction of physician or as directed by home care nurse or aide, and ensure patients take their medicine.

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Plan, purchase, prepare, or serve meals to patients or other family members, according to prescribed diets.

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Accompany clients to doctors' offices or on other trips outside the home, providing transportation, assistance, and companionship.

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Direct patients in simple prescribed exercises or in the use of braces or artificial limbs.

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Provide patients and families with emotional support and instruction in areas such as caring for infants, preparing healthy meals, living independently, or adapting to disability or illness.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Psychology:  Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Public Safety and Security:  Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Medicine and Dentistry:  Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a home help assistant, you must like working with people, and have a caring nature. Patience, compassion, tact and a sense of humour are vital qualities, especially if you work with people who resent, or do not want to admit they need, your help.  
 
You must understand that each resident has the right to keep as much independence and privacy as they can. You will need to treat each client as an individual, with different physical and emotional needs. Through patience, kindness and encouragement, you must be able to ease people's embarrassment when you help them with personal tasks like washing and using the toilet.  
 
Because home help assistants work alone, you must be well motivated, and able to organise your case load.  
 
Home help assistants should be aware of other cultures and ways of life. You must appreciate and respect the fact that you are working in someone's home.  
 
You may need a clean driving licence, especially if your clients live far away from each other, for example, in rural areas.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
  Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
  Tel: 01 635 2000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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