It is well known, and entirely understandable, that the overwhelming majority of people aged over 65 wish to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible (Law Reform Commission 2012 ). Government support of this has also seen a growth in the commercial homecare sector in Ireland.
However the recent call by the Law Reform Commission to regulate the home care sector by a professional body such as HIQA may further emphasise the need for carers working in the home care sector to seek a professional qualification. Back in 2009, the regulation of the residential sector saw the introduction of compulsory FETAC training for carers working with older people.
Responding to these training needs, HealthSET, a locally based FETAC accredited training company for carers, was set up in 2011. Run by registered nurses, FETAC training courses are aimed at carers wanting to gain relevant practical healthcare skills based on best practices. Liaising with local healthcare providers, HealthSET facilitates students into employment by providing job and CV information, as well as comprehensive career information on FETAC progression routes.
Courses currently on offer in Galway are FETAC Level 5 care of the older person, starting Tuesday February 21 and Saturday April 14; and progression courses including FETAC Level 5 practical home care skills starting February 29, and health and safety at work starting March 24.