Caregiving as a Career: What You Need To Know about Senior Care
The field of caregiving is varied, challenging and rewarding. Most people have an idea fairly early on that they want to work in the helping profession, or that they are interested in caregiving, but they may try out several types of work within the field.
Caregiving requires a strong desire to serve others, a competent and can-do personality as well as strong ethics, patience and a deep sense of compassion. Some people will choose to work with children; others will work in the fields of mental health, adults or children with disabilities and others will choose to work with the aging population.
Different Ways To Work As A Caregiver
Some caregivers work in a medical setting, as a nurse’s aide or a medical assistant.
Typically, these positions require some type of schooling. A vocational degree is common. For those interested in working in the medical field, it’s best to consult your local college, university or trade school to find out what the requirements are for your field of interest.
Non-Medical Setting Jobs For Caregivers
Not everyone wants to work in a clinical setting, though. For many people, the job of caregiving needs to feel more personal.
For many seniors, staying in their home is so important. As time goes by, this becomes increasingly difficult. Mobility issues, the death of a spouse, difficulty getting to appointments, stores, etc. and problems with memory can mean having to sell their home to move to an assisted living facility.
Often, caregivers work in assisted living homes. However, a large percentage of caregivers provide care services to seniors who still live in their homes and have not moved to a retirement or assisted living situation.
In-home caregiving can mean staying home for longer and an improved quality of life for seniors. Caregivers who come to the home not only help seniors continue to live independently for longer periods of time, they also provide valuable companionship and connection, which has been shown to stave off depression and improve overall mental and physical health.
What Are Some Things In-Home Caregivers Typically Do?
There is a wide range of services that an in-home caregiver provides. For some seniors, there is only a need for light housekeeping, errands, transportation to appointments and just being there to check in and make sure things are going okay. Some people only require help a couple of times per week, and some need daily and even overnight care.
This actually makes caregiving a very flexible job. As a caregiver, you can find shifts any day of the week, mornings, evenings and overnights. If you are a student, then this flexibility is beneficial.
Other services include meal preparation, help with dressing, bathing and other care and medication dispensing and reminders. You may accompany clients to appointments and help remind and set new ones.
Caregiving isn’t just about the housekeeping and errands, though. It’s about helping a person retain their independence. It’s about improving quality of life and offering peace of mind for them, and their family.
What Kind Of Experience Do You Need To Work As A Caregiver?
It depends. Aside from being sure you are physically able to carry out the duties assigned and are able to pass any background and health checks, you can often receive on the job training.
For those who have educational backgrounds in caregiving, it’s certainly helpful. For example, if you have training in nurse’s assisting this will be valuable. On-the-job training is provided for many non-medical services that caregivers typically provide.
If you believe that caregiving is the career for you; contact Comfort Keepers at 610- 543-6300 to learn more about working in the field of caregiving.