What It Takes To Be A Carer

Rewarding Work – What It Takes To Be A Carer

As people live longer, and we get better at preserving the lives of those who would otherwise have perished, more and more people are going through times when they need a bit of extra care. The care industry is thus an expanding one, in which kind, empathetic, practical, and dedicated people are always needed. It takes a special kind of person to be a carer or a nurse – someone who has both the practical skills and forthrightness needed to deal with people who may sometimes need specialist help, and the empathetic nature needed to treat these people with the respect and kindness which any human being deserves. Importantly, a good carer also needs to know how to take care of themselves. -What It Takes To Be A Carer

People in the caring profession are prone to feeling guilty when they do something for themselves – believing, due to their dedication, that their every waking moment should be devoted to their charges. In fact, being so selfless that you neglect yourself completely is a counterproductive quality in a carer. As well as being empathetic, knowledgeable about their charge’s condition, and imbued with a good deal of patience, a carer needs to be able to recognise the signs of frustration and burnout within themselves, and to take steps to prevent their emotional state from reaching a point where they start to resent those for whom they are caring.

Patience is something which must be practiced – it comes with experience. A carer therefore needs to have experience at recognising and dealing with their own triggers. They need to know how to calm themselves down when they find themselves getting emotional, and to maintain an equable disposition under the most trying of circumstances. Empathy can help a lot with this. While a certain degree of empathy is innate, an empathetic connection can be helped along if the carer takes the time to learn about how the patient’s condition affects their lives. This makes them less likely to apportion ‘blame’ to the patient themselves should they find their demands in any way frustrating.

Perhaps most importantly, a good carer should find their work rewarding. If you basically don’t like looking after people, the life of a carer is not for you! However, if you do like looking after people but are prone to either intense guilt or frustration, you may want to look at working on these aspects of your character. Guilt – while connected intimately in many ways to empathy – is counterproductive when applied poorly. If you feel guilty every time you do something for yourself, you will ultimately hit burnout and be emotionally unable to provide the quality of care needed by your charges. If you are prone to frustration, you need to learn to recognise the warning signs and develop a system for combating it. In both cases, ensuring that you have a reasonable amount of ‘me time’ can really help. For more on coping with caring, read this article

Author – Melissa

The National Homecare and Assisted Living Conference 2015

Home care in Ireland Is a rapidly growing service within our communities, with many more opting for this type of service for their personal care as opposed to hospital or nursing home services commonly used in the past. Considering the rapid expansion and demand in this sector it comes with a range of changes, challenges and guidelines being developed annually to ensure optimum service to the end user. CMG Events in Association with myhomecareie.wpengine.com have gathered an expert line up of presenters to address some of the most topical issues in the home care sector including;

  • How to meet the requirements of our Ageing Population.
  • Are we HIQA prepared?
  • How Best to develop relationships between nursing homes & homecare provisions.
  • Dementia Supports available to Homecare providers to name just a few.

Opening remarks from Conference Chairperson

Speaker: Dr Mary Rose Day, Midwife & Public Health Nurse, UCC

The role of HIQA in monitoring and regulating health & social care services

Speaker: Vicky Blomfield, Head of Programme, Corporate Projects. HIQA

  • The legal framework
  • Regulating and monitoring
  • Standards and Regulations
  • Registration and enforcement
  • The inspection process
  • Key findings so far
  • Getting ready for inspections

Supporting the Continuum of Care – Meeting the Requirement of our Ageing Population

Speaker: Tadhg Daly, CEO, Nursing Homes Ireland

  • Ageing Demographic
  • Demand for residential care exceeding supply
  • Development of ‘continuum of care’
  • Role of nursing home sector in complimentary services(homecare / day care / meals on wheels)
  • Nursing homes a hub of community services?

Primary Care

  • Independent living – care communities
  • Cohesive national strategy
  • Implications of inaction

The Single Assessment Tool (SAT) – HSE national implementation of a standardised comprehensive care needs assessment for older people

Speakers: Dr Natalie Vereker, Services For Older People, HSE / Linda McDermott-Scales, National Education & Development Manager, Services for Older People, Social Care Division, HSE

  • The benefits and requirements for a Single Assessment Tool (SAT) in assessing older persons’ health and social care needs
  • The implementation by HSE of SAT to replace current variable care needs assessment practices with a standardised SAT for entry into
  • Nursing Home Support Scheme (A Fair Deal), Home Care Package Scheme (HCPs) and thereafter to Home-Help provision.
  • The SAT uses an internationally recognised assessment system known as the interRAI™ system. The interRAI™ explained
  • The national implementation of SAT to date

Advance Care Directives in the Community

Speaker: Kayla Rumack, Medical Student, University College Cork

  • Relevance & Benefits of Advance Care Directives in the Community
  • Knowledge, Opinions
  • Completion Rates and Factors Influencing Engagement – Ireland and International
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour – Can we influence Advance Directive Completion?
  • Research & Developments to expect in the future

Case Studies – Early Intervention and Integration of Community & Acute Care

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Weathers, PhD, BSc, PGCTL, RGN, Research Support Officer, Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, University College Cork @St. Finbarr’s Hospital

  • Community Assessment of Risk and Treatment Strategies (CARTS) Project – Link between frailty and risk of hospitalisation, institutionalisation, or death/predictors of frailty
  • Risk Instrument for Screening in the Community (RISC) and Community Assessment of Risk Instrument (CARI)
  • Importance of caregiver network and family support networks
  • Training of Public Health Nurses
  • Screening currently underway in Cork/Kerry HSE Region and implementation of Intensive Home Care Packages
  • Future developments and plans for wide scale implementation
  • Geriatric Database Project
  • Work to date on the development of a geriatric computerised database for people with cognitive impairment
  • Integration of community care and acute care

Dementia Supports available to Homecare providers

Speaker: Dr Dermot Power, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Sciences

  • Insights into the level of home care service for users with Dementia in Ireland
  • What supports are being developed
  • The use of technology to support older patients with dementia in their own homes

Top tips on how to care for common illnesses with our ageing population service users

Speaker: Dr John Doherty, Consultant Physician, Aged Related Health Care (ARHC) unit, Tallaght Hospital

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Senile patients
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Cardio problems
  • Malnutrition

Closing remarks from Dr Mary Rose Day

Not included in videos:

Community / Public Health Nursing & Developing relationships between nursing homes & homecare provision

Speaker: Anne Lynott, DPHN, Public Health Nursing Department, Dublin West, Cherry Orchard Hospital

The Future of Home care & staffing In Ireland

Speaker: Cora Murphy, Clinical Director, The Care Team

Family Caregivers and the wider community based supports – vital improvements needed for home care services

Speaker: Andrew McFarlane, CEO and Co-Founder of CareZapp

With special thanks to Sarah Flynn, Events Co-ordinator, CMG Events and The Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire. For further info please contact Sarah on sarah@cmgevents.ie or call 01 293 4764.


Turning your retirement years in to your Golden Years

 There comes a stage in life when we will all need to hang up our boots and admit it’s time for retirement. Avoid letting this time slip away, turn your retirement into the time you want. You can now  finally achieve all the things you have only dreamed of doing over the past 40 odd years.

Just one thing you need to remember, today, you are as young as you will ever be. Use this, take advantage of your youthfulness. Many people look at retirement and assume it will be a disconnected, meaningless lifestyle. You are in control, you have the power to change this.

Growing older and wiser as our hair turns to silver threads is inevitable, but we can embrace these years ahead and grab as much from them as possible.

Don’t underestimate the Importance of Occupation after Retirement……..

“I’ve often been asked, ‘What do you Harold making the most of his retirement yearsdo now that you’re retired?’
Well..I’m fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine and rum into urine.
It’s rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling. I do it every day and I really enjoy it.”

Quoted from: Harold Schlumberg


Harold is an inspiration to us all. Take a leaf out of his book, do something that is rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling to you.

As we grow older, we fear our ability to make a difference fades. In these times we need an everyday hero like Harold to remind us that regardless of age or generation, we can make a difference. Become an inspiration to all other retirees, find the courage to do what makes you happy and share it with others.

Make sure you are counted in your retirement, spend time with family, maintain good health (exercise, take up a class,etc.), pass on your years of wisdom or peruse a personal interest. Turn your retirement in to Golden years with memories made of joy and happiness.

Home Care Financial Assistance

Home Care Financial Assistance

Employed person taking care of an incapacitated individual

Employing a care giver for yourself or a family member i.e spouse, civil partner, child or a relative, including a relation through marriage or civil partnership is a huge step. One that you need to be 100% comfortable with, both emotionally and financially.

As an employer of a carer you are entitled to claim tax relief on this cost, provided the care is for yourself or a family member. This includes employing a carer from an agency or using an agency’s services, such as ourselves. Charitable/voluntary organisations such as the Alzheimer’s society of Ireland also fall under this home care financial assistance.

Tax allowances and reliefs reduce the amount of tax that you have to pay. As of January 2015 you are entitled to claim tax relief for employing a carer up to the cost of €75,000 (previous to this it was €50,000) for each incapacitated individual. This is a tax relief rate of 41%.

If employing a care giver yourself, you have duties and responsibility towards your care givers. You must ensure they receive the following:

  • Employment contract : (minimum wage rate, hours, holidays)
  • Payslips
  • Employee’s tax
  • Social insurance

If you decide to go through an agency for care, these responsibilities fall on the agency. If you wish to take this route, you are still eligible to claim tax relief on the cost of care through an agency.

To claim this tax relief the individual receiving care must be fully incapacitated from the tax year starting January through to December. However the care giver does NOT have to be employed for this period of time.

If you have been granted Dependent Relative Tax Credit (section 466) or an Incapacitated Child Tax Credit (section 465) you are not eligible for this tax relief.

If you wish to apply for this tax relief you can submit your P60 and your spouses if required to your local Revenue office.

If you are a PAYE tax payer and wish to apply for this tax relief you can download the following pdf tax relief for employing a carer on form HK 1 (pdf) or contact the your local Revenue office (all numbers available at http://www.revenue.ie/en/contact/lo-call.html )

To discuss this and any other queries please contact myhomecareie.wpengine.com.