Senior Care Jobs

by Lee Pham
 Glaucoma - Hamster Health


What opportunities are available for employment in senior care?

Senior care jobs are available in retirement communities, senior home care agencies and nursing homes.  Retirement communities employ managers, sales, support and care staff, usually consisting of a Registered Nurse and a few Certified Nursing Aides to support the community.  Senior home care agencies employ managers consisting of registered nurses and social workers along with office and field staff including schedulers, recruiters, bookkeepers and receptionists or in-take coordinators.  Field staff consists of Certified Nursing Aides, Home Health Aides and Certified Personal Care Assistants (all states in the U.S.A. certify nursing aides and additional senior care certfications vary by state).

What training is required?  Some positions do not require training beyond a caring personality.  Other positions require experience in that area of expertise.  Non-medical senior home care agencies are able to staff companion caregivers in most states.  These caregivers receive caregiver training through the senior care agency and the only requirements are dependablility, compassion and experience interacting with seniors.

What certifications are required?  Retirement communities and nursing homes usually require caregivers to be certified as a nursing aide.  Senior home care agencies are considered non-medical and may require some caregivers who are working in nursing facilities or reimbursed by long-term care insurance to be certified nursing aides or certified home health aides or certified personal care assistants if these certifications are offered in the state where care services are provided.

What are the job duties?  The caregiving job duties will consist of:  companionship, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation (and planning), assisting with personal care and safe transfers, exercise coaching, medication monitoring and errands.  Mental and physical exercises along with social activities may be included in the senior’s plan of care.

How do you become certified as a nursing aide?  You should check the certification requirements in your state.  Many community colleges offer nursing aide certification programs and some hospitals and nursing homes may also offer the nursing aide certification.  You are usually able to obtain certification within 6 to 12 weeks, depending on if you attend a full-time or part-time program.  After finishing a certification program, you will be required to take the state exam.  Usually your program will provide you with practice tests.  Skills learned include proper emotional interaction with the senior, along with how to bathe, transfer and maintain cleanliness in the patient’s environment.  Feeding tube and colostomy maintenance are also taught.

Are positions full-time or part-time? Both full-time and part-time positions are available as often seniors will only need part-time services in their home when additional care is first needed.  Many times senior home care agencies will need to staff morning or afternoon or evening caregivers in order to meet a senior’s care needs, which means a wide variety of part-time schedules are available.  This makes companion care an attractive opportunity for both seniors and students.

How do you find available senior care positions?  It is always a good idea to obtain some experience through volunteering at a senior center, nursing home.  Opportunities also exist through associations for age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s Disease.  You may also explore senior caregiving jobs through career centers for caregivers where one application will reach all the senior care companies in your area.


Source by Julie Northcutt

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