WHAT DO CAREGIVERS DO?
If helping people comes second nature to you, you might be ready for a career as a caregiver. Caregivers, also known as home health or personal care aides, give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly and fragile. Caregivers work in the home and help their clients with daily activities, such as bathing and bathroom functions, feeding, grooming, taking medication, and some housework. Caregivers help clients make and keep appointments with doctors, provide or arrange transportation and serve as a companion for their clients.
Caregivers are either hired by a client or their family, or report directly to a physician or a nurse.
HOW MUCH DO CAREGIVERS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), caregivers made a median income of $9.70 an hour in 2010, or $20,170 per year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Most caregivers have at least a high school diploma when starting their career, but it is not required. Much training is done on the job by nurses or other caregivers. The training includes safety information, emergency response, cooking special dietary foods if necessary.
Some states may require more formal training from a vocational school, elder care programs or other home health organization. Certification is required for caregivers working for agencies that receive Medicare or Medicaid.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Attention to Detail: Some clients have specific rules or schedules that must be minded, or specific rules that must be followed.
- Interpersonal Skills: Caregivers work in a very personal way with their clients. Some will be in pain or very sensitive to their fragility. Caregivers must be sensitive and compassionate with clients.
- Stamina: Caregivers might need to lift clients into the bathtub, cars and into bed, and need strength.
- Time Management: Caregivers are schedule keepers. Caregivers have to be there to make sure clients get up on time, make sure medication is taken on schedule and clients get to appointments on time.
THE FUTURE OF CAREGIVERS
With the aging of the baby boomers, caregiver jobs will grow rapidly. According to the BLS, caregiver jobs will grow 69% by 2020, much faster than the average job.