How Do I Become a Caregiver?

Teenage Granddaughter Visiting Grandmother

For those interested in becoming a caregiver, a bit of reflection and research is necessary. Most people have served as caregivers at some point in their lifetime; for some it was long term care for a chronically ill loved one and for others it was a week of babysitting for a young child. Regardless of the type of caregiving, successful caregivers know that it involves skill, empathy, understanding and giving of oneself. When considering whether or not to become a professional caregiver, the question becomes, do past caregiving experiences elicit the joy that is necessary to pursue it as a full-time job?

Here are five steps that can help to answer that question:

1. Ask yourself if you have the traits necessary to be successful on the job. Can you weather the ups and downs of being a caregiver? These swings will be out of your control, based in large part upon the health and well-being of those in your care. Can you bear the emotional toll that comes with caring for people to whom you may become attached? Caregivers needs to be moderate and consistent in their interactions with those in their care; unflappable and focused, compassionate, patient, and tireless in their efforts to improve the lives of the people in their care.

2. Research the options for professional caregivers. What are the job opportunities in your area? Where would you work, what are the hours and what is the salary? The most money is made by caregivers hired directly by families or an elder care facility. What will the impact be on your lifestyle and your family? Can you take care of your responsibilities while working the hours necessary as a professional caregiver?

3. Invest in training and a degree. Attend caregiver’s classes to learn the basics of the profession. Check out organizations that offer workshops, seminars, and classes for individuals who want to work as professional caregivers. While a degree isn’t always a requirement to become a caregiver, training is always an asset. Some colleges provide courses for prospective caregivers. Take a relatively quick course and become a certified home health aide (CHHA). One option for finding a course near you is to visit the American Red Cross and search for nurse assistant and home health aide training in your state. If you choose to get an advanced degree, common ones to explore are nurse, LPN (licensed practical nurse), or CNA (certified nursing assistant).

4. Talk to other caregivers. Ask them about the time and money they invested in their education and the impact it had on their salary, and career development.

5. Apply. If you want to be a professional caregiver, LivHOME wants to talk to you. We are always looking for compassionate caregivers to join our team. LivHOME caregivers meet the highest standards of the industry and you can be one of them. Contact us today http://livhome.wpengine.com/careers.html

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