Elderly Care 101: The Work of Taking Care of Elders


Some people have a natural talent and care for the elderly. If you are one of them, it takes only a little local research and an investment of a few weeks to find a job that pays you to take care of elders. Read on find out what kinds of jobs exits and how to find in your hometown.

1. Caregiving for the elderly usually includes companionship, light meal prep, and transportation to appointments, light housekeeping (laundry, vacuuming, dishes and bed-making), help with walking, eating or showering, medication and appointment reminders, and errands. There are three basic agencies for the elderly: nursing homes, assisted living facilities and companion/caregiver agencies. These agencies hire those without nursing degrees or professional degrees in elder care. Most will provide agency training after hiring and before you begin working, so what you need most is a positive attitude and an ability to work with seniors.

2. There are couples of private agency chains that have locations all over the United States and Canada. One is Home Instead, another is Comfort Keepers, on which you can search by ZIP code to find the agency closest to you and submit an application.Have your resume ready and start filling out applications. Some agencies will call within the hour, so be prepared. Always follow up in a couple of days with a phone call. Have they had a chance to review the resume you sent? Would you be able to schedule an interview? Take any rejections politely and move on. The agency may keep your resume on file and call you when they have an opening or staffing emergency.

3. Of you are called in for an interview, be prepared. Know as much as you can about the kind of clients the agency serves and the history of the agency. Arrive ahead of the time, dress neatly and conservatively. Most of all, your future employers are looking for someone who knows how to be polite, professional and upbeat.

4. You can also work for local government agencies like Meals On Wheels, senior nutrition sites and Community Care programs. Go to the USA.gov website which has an eldercare locator to search by ZIP code. Lifeworx.com/ gives a state-by-state listing of agencies, nursing homes and local programs.

5. The government agencies take much longer to process an application than private agencies so beprepared for a longer wait. Most state and county agencies have to approve new hires at monthly administration meetings so your wait, including background and criminal checks could be as long as two months. Don’t be discouraged, the pay and benefits are usually more absolute than private agencies.

6. Any good and reputable agency will want to do a drug test and criminal back ground check for the safety of their clients. If you have a criminal record, make sure you state that up front on your application that you do not want an elder caregiver with a criminal record.



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