June 2010
                                        Home Support Workers
Home Support Workers          Page 2

                       Results of Home Support Workers’ Survey
Page 3

REach out to SuPport EthniC diversiTy (Respect)
The Respect Project is concerned            with this type of s...
...Transforming Communities, Environments & Technologies for Age ing-in- Pl ace
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Home support newsletter june 2010 issue 1


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The first newsletter dedicated to Home Support Workers for older people.

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Home support newsletter june 2010 issue 1

  1. 1. June 2010 Home Support Workers Welcome from the Netwell Centre Dear Reader, A warm welcome to our first newsletter for Home Support Workers! We plan to publish a number of newsletters to share experiences and news of Home Sup- port Workers providing care to older people in County Louth. I believe that with the right supports, more older people can live for longer in their own homes. As Home Support Workers, you are an important part of the frontline services to the realisation of this vision. Frontline services are the backbone of care in the community, supporting our most vulnerable older people to continue to live in their own homes with dignity. Yet your voice has all too often been lost in debates around older people’s ser- vices. I hope this newsletter will go some way towards improving communications with you Rodd Bond, and raising your profile in the care of older people as part of Primary Care Services. Netwell Centre Director The Netwell Centre in conjunction the HSE and the Local Authority are developing new ideas to enhance the quality of life and well-being of older people and those who care for them. This will be achieved through more integrated community-oriented services, more sustainable home and neighbourhood design, and more age-friendly technologies. Volume 1, Issue 1 The team and I share the commitment of the HSE and the Local Authority to improving the quality of life of older people and look forward to supporting you in your care work. Kind regards, Rodd Bond Inside this issue: Survey Results 2 The Home Support Workers’ Survey The Respect Project 3 People are living longer than able older people to remain contracted by the HSE to ever before. The Central at home: washing, dressing, care for older people. The Upcoming Events 4 Statistics Office estimate that dealing with incontinence, aim was to provide an in- the number of people aged etc. You help prevent inap- depth profile of Home Sup- over 65 will double between propriate hospital and nursing port Workers, to explore their now and 2026 and triple by home admissions of older job motivations; their training 2041 (CSO, 2008). Our age- people. and support needs, their atti- ing population has implica- tudes towards their future tions for health service plan- In many cases, you are the careers, and their experi- ning. It is Government’s be- only people who have daily ences in-post. lief that the rising cost of care contact with the most vulner- can be off-set by reducing able older people in our com- The response rate was high, Supported by the munity, yet little research with almost three-quarters demands for hospital beds Health Service Executive through the provision of has sought to understand (70%) of the questionnaires more services closer to the your needs and experiences. returned out of a total sample home. As Home Support of 305 care workers. Workers you have an impor- To address this research tant role to play in the suc- gap, the Netwell Centre con- This newsletter provides a cess of this policy goal. ducted a questionnaire sur- summary of the results. Supported by the vey with all Home Support The European Union’s PEACE III Programme You provide the necessary Workers in County Louth who as awarded by Louth Peace & Reconciliation are employed by the HSE or personal and practical care Partnership which help to enable vulner- an independent provider
  2. 2. Home Support Workers Page 2 Results of Home Support Workers’ Survey Routes into care / motivation excellent but nearly a quarter said they that the training they had received was have ‘back problems’. The HSE pro- ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ and 31.9% The vast majority (96. 8%) of Home vide manual handling courses annually said they would need further training Support Workers are women. In addi- in addition to lifting aids and other sup- in specific areas to carry out their cur- tion, a majority are married (71%), ports as required. rent work. The most frequently re- reflecting the gendered influences ported areas in which training was which shape paid care work. Many Levels of morale and psychological considered necessary were: Alz- have come to the job having previously well-being of workers appears good, heimer’s/Dementia, palliative care, and cared for a family member or because with 88.8% reporting that they ‘often’ care of older people. A new clinical they can fit the work around their fam- or ‘very often’ feel ‘generally happy’, coordinator for Home Support has ily. Some 17.5% have caring respon- but evidence suggests many are con- been appointed and more individual- sibilities for children, 12% have caring cerned about future health needs. ised training opportunities will be avail- responsibilities for grandchildren, Nearly 20% reported that they ‘often’ able in the future. 27.9% have caring responsibilities for or ‘very often’ worry about their future Volume 1, Issue 1 other family members and 19.5% have health. A further 14% report that they Clients’ personal & practical needs caring responsibilities for friends/ ‘often’ or ‘very often’ worry about their neighbours. ‘future care needs’. Financial insecu- Care workers are clearly sensitive to rity is also a concern , with 18.8% the health and social care needs of While family circumstances provided ‘often’ or ‘very often’ concerned about their clients . Over three-quarters be- the main route into caring, workers finances. lieve that clients’ personal care needs were clearly very committed to the are fully met, but 14% say they are not care of older people. Training fully met. Eighty percent say clients’ practical care needs are fully met, but 12% believe they are not fully met. Ireland is fast moving from personal “I always wanted to work Where workers are concerned about experience as a basis of home care for with people, I just like clients they can contact the PHN and older people (largely mothers and helping people”. ask for a review of client needs. housewives) to a formally qualified sector. This can be seen in the differ- Summary ent beliefs workers hold about appro- priate knowledge of care work and Home Support Workers are an impor- Profile of workers how to obtain it, with 44% of workers tant part of frontline services in the reporting that training is ‘not applica- community. Changing demographics The age prolife of workers points to an ble’ to them. point to a great reliance on these work- ageing workforce. The youngest ers in the future as more people live worker was aged 26 years and the Many have embarked on training while longer in later life. It is crucial that we oldest 79, giving an average age of 51 in employment, with 21.1% either cur- have accurate and timely information years. rently working towards or have com- on the needs and experiences of these pleted FETAC Level 5 ‘Care of the The majority of participants (45%) workers in order to assist them to pro- Older Person’; a further 17.1% are work 5 days a week, a further quarter vide the best possible care they can currently working towards or have (25.9%) work 7 days a week. Just for vulnerable older people. The re- completed FETAC Level 2 ‘Care of the over a quarter (26.3%) perform house- sults from this survey will make an Older Person’, and 5.2% are working hold tasks, a further 14% provide per- important contribution to this. towards or have completed FETAC sonal care and over half (59%) provide Level 2 ‘Palliative Care Support’. If you would like to hear the full results both personal and practical care. of this survey, come along to our When asked what motivated them to The majority of participants work for feedback session which will be con- undertake this training, respondents the HSE (87.3%), with the average ducted by the Netwell Centre in con- pointed to a desire ‘to be better quali- length of employment equating to 9 junction with the HSE. This session fied’ (29.1%), ‘to be ready for changes years. In terms of nationality, the ma- will be held in Louth Hospital at a time in care’ (24.7%), ‘a practical need for jority (82.1%) are Irish, 12.7% are Ni- convenient to you. You will be given more training’ (20.3%), ‘a requirement gerian, with the remainder coming information on dates and times shortly. of employment’ (17.9%) and a desire from various other European and Afri- to ‘get a better job’ (10.8%). If you have any queries or would like can countries. additional information contact: Satisfaction with training Lucia Carragher T: 042 937 0347 Health E: lucia.carragher@netwellcentre.org Of those who participated in training, Three-quarters of workers rated their nearly three-quarter (73.9% ) reported current health status as very good or
  3. 3. Page 3 REach out to SuPport EthniC diversiTy (Respect) The Respect Project is concerned with this type of situation and that for her; I tried to tell her we do not eat with migrant care workers and clearer work guidelines would help. porridge in my country and the HSE did identifying the issues they face at Some referred to the need for carers to not show me how to make it, but she work and in the community. The contribute to care plans rather than was very angry with me.’ overall aim is to ensure that migrant filling out reports. As one carer com- carers are treated with fairness and mented, ‘we write and write in care Acceptance by clients dignity at work and in society and to plans but we get no feedback’. One migrant worker referred to prob- promote cross-community under- Cultural differences lems that some older people have ‘in standing. accepting a black care worker’, adding Migrant care workers make an impor- It was clear from conversations that dis- that it was difficult to know what to do tant contribution to supporting vulner- tinctive cultural differences exist between about this because it happens ‘in pri- able older people to live in their own migrant and Irish care workers. One Irish vate’ in the homes of clients. homes and communities. Yet the con- carer commented: Shared learning tribution these workers make to the ‘They [migrant carers] won’t talk to economic and social life of the north clients, they just do their work and When asked what migrant carers can east is often overlooked because so leave’. teach Irish carers, migrant workers little is known of their experiences at pointed to a number of positive attrib- work and in the community. Lack of However, as the comments of this utes such as patience, love and com- knowledge and cultural understanding migrant worker suggest, the fear of passion. Similarly, Irish care workers, can in turn have a destabilising effect cultural misunderstandings can be a identified knowledge of other cultures in host communities. The Netwell Cen- barrier to integration. and other perspectives on old age and tre is addressing this social and cul- caring for older people. tural issue by bringing workers to- gether—migrant and Irish—as well as Summary their employers and clients to facilitate ‘We do not realise we speak too loud. I discussions and the emergence of a did not know until one day a client said, Migrant care workers make an impor- shared understanding of cultural diver- ‘why are you shouting at me’. But I tant contribution to the care of vulner- sity. didn’t realise, you see that’s the way we able older people in need of assis- speak in my country. So now I am afraid to talk in case I offend clients— tance with activities of daily living. Yet Workshop One little is know of migrant workers’ ex- and I know lots of other black carers who feel the same’. periences of working in a culturally On 25th November 2009 we held the different society, particularly in the first of two workshops planned with private realm of the home while caring migrant and Irish care workers, em- for clients. The findings from this ployers and older people. The work- workshop will make an important con- shop was attended by 30 home sup- Migrant care workers also experience tribution to this information gap and port worker, immigrant and Irish, lead- problems in preparing common Irish towards raising cultural awareness in ing to a very lively and productive dis- dishes such as porridge, with implica- the north east. cussion. Below are the themes which tion for both client and worker satisfac- emerged from this workshop. tion. Opinions about care work ‘The lady asked me to make porridge The aspects of care work favoured by both migrant and Irish carers reflect their motivations to care for people. Reach out to support ethnic diversity (Respect) is a project Again and again we listened as carers supported by the European Union's PEACE III Pro- described how they ‘like caring for gramme as awarded by Louth Peace and Reconciliation people’ and how they ‘always wanted to work with people’. Small numbers cited aspects such as difficult clients and clients’ families placing unreasonable demands to do additional tasks. Others commented that it was difficult to know how to deal
  4. 4. ...Transforming Communities, Environments & Technologies for Age ing-in- Pl ace Netwell Centre Upcoming workshop with Home Support Workers Workshop 2 - June 2010 We will hold a second workshop in June 2010 to address all the issues high- lighted above. You will be given full details of the date, time and location, shortly. If you have any queries regarding our workshops, contact: Lucia Carragher T: 042 937 0347 E: lucia.carragher@netwellcentre.org Service brokerage is provided by the Netwell Centre to strengthen capacity to provide information to older people. “Cúltaca” is the Irish name for the service brokers meaning a strong support or backup. If you would like to speak to our Cúltaca for older people, contact: Ann Marron, T: 042 939 1078 E: ann.marron@netwelllcentre.org or Pat Kerins, T: 042 937 0531 E: patrick.kerins@netwelllcentre.org Regional Development Centre Dundalk Institute of Technology Dublin Road, Dundalk, Co Louth. Tel: +353 (0)42 937 0497 ...Transforming Communities, Fax: +353 (0)42 933 1163 Environments and Technologies for E-mail: info@netwellcentre.org ageing-in-place. We are on the web: www.netwellcentre.org