Elder care is a growing employment field as an aging population and a trend to geographically dispersed families makes finding caregivers for older Americans an increasingly important priority. As more people are reaching advanced ages, demand for qualified elder caregivers is growing exponentially.
Within the next two decades, about 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65, and 90 percent of them will have one or more chronic health conditions. The Eldercare Workforce Alliance estimates that about 3.5 million health care and direct care workers will be needed to accommodate the elderly population by 2030. As you can see, there is a long-term need for elder care professionals.
The elder care field isn’t for everyone, but for caring compassionate people with a desire to make a difference and a living, it presents promising career opportunities.
If you’re considering going into the field, these career and practical tips may help:
- Get professional training – Certification programs for elder care providers will make you more employable and increase the salary you can hope to learn. Training programs don’t have to be expensive and don’t have to take years to complete. There are many recognized and respected programs that can provide you with a valuable career credential in a relatively short period of time.
- It’s all about respect – Seniors are adults who have taken care of themselves for most of their lives. Accepting outside help can be tough. Give them as much independence as possible, and let them know your role is to provide support, not to take over their lives.
- Be vigilant – A good elder care provider is detail oriented and has a good eye for things other people might miss. When providing care, listen to your seniors and do thorough visual inspections. It will go a long way toward detecting health and other issues early on, before they become significant problems.
- Enlist the help of family members – Family members can help diffuse resistance to care, and help you better understand the individual personalities and needs of the seniors in your care. Involving family members in care also helps strengthen bonds between them and their seniors, which is beneficial to all parties.
- Have an eye for safety – Stay on the lookout for potential safety hazards in your seniors’ homes. Check for fall hazards such as loose rugs, extension cords, slick floors and bathtubs, etc. Also, with your seniors’ permission, try to arrange their homes so there are as few hazards as possible. Place safety strips in tubs, ensure electrical outlets are not overloaded, and keep frequently used items on low shelves.
With proper training and the right personal qualities, men and women interested in elder care can find richly rewarding career opportunities in this vitally needed profession.
ABC Training Center provides training programs for a variety of careers, including home health care in NYC. In business since 1972, ABC has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau and an excellent track record of producing career-ready graduates.