Working with the elderly can be a hard and trying profession as you need to have a lot of patience and a positive attitude. However, caring for seniors can definitely be rewarding as it will build your character and teach you important life experiences. Professions in elder care provide a lot of job security as there are almost always openings in these careers. With the baby boomer generation reaching senior citizen status, there is only room for growth in the senior care industry.
To get a job in elder care you must first decide how and where you want to work in elder care. There are many senior care professions such as working as a live-in caregiver in a senior housing facility or taking a shift in an assisted living or a retirement community.
Make sure to research what jobs you would be qualified for. Some home-health agencies hire employees without a nurse’s aide certificate while others require it. All nursing homes typically require certification to work with patients. Certification can cost between $300 to $900 depending on where you live. Certified workers tend to be hired more easily and make more money. However, if you do not want to get certified you might have to stick with working for a home care agency.
Make sure to prepare yourself before applying. Background checks and drug screenings are typical procedures in the hiring process for senior care positions. Most every state requires workers with the elderly to be at least 18 to work or be certified and necessitates the applicant have a high school diploma. In some facilities completion of basic college courses is required. A majority of senior care facilities like to see experience in care giving. Consider volunteering at a nursing home to help boost your resume.
As you start applying for jobs make sure to visit the senior care facilities and retirement homes that you are applying for. You can ask for an application on your visit to the facilities that you are interested in. If you are hired most places will train and certify you for free in exchange for a promise to remain of service for a specified time period. If you are not able to be certified through the senior care facility you can look into a community college training program or an online program. Check your state’s agency for nurse’s aide training for information on certification courses as well as grants and scholarships that might be available.