How to Become a Caregiver

How to Become a Caregiver and Get Certified as a Senior Caregiver

What is a Caregiver?  caregiver training

Caregivers assist others with daily activities of living.

Senior caregiver certification training must meet state training mandates and be renewed annually. More than 25 states require at least 8-hours of annual training and California requires 10-hours of training for year one followed by a 5-hour annual renewal training course.

Caregivers may provide part-time or full-time care and most often professional care services are provided for seniors with memory loss or age-related illnesses or for those of any age who are living with a physical or mental illness or disability.

Review State Training Requirements

Receive Online Training Course (by Caregiver Training University) meeting your State's Requirements

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Caregiving professionals are supported by Care Managers and receive all payroll tax benefits when working for a licensed senior home care agency. The largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.A. will usually have hundreds of senior home care agencies that are constantly hiring new caregivers. Caregiver training requirements are mandated by more than 30 states and most companies in states without specific mandates will provide a professional training program to caregivers each year. Assisted Living Communities, including Residential Assisted Living (RAL's) Communities and Hospices require professional caregiver training.

Caregiver Jobs are always available as long-term care insurance policies require professionally trained caregivers and more and more seniors are choosing to age-in-place in their home while living longer lives. Apply for a caregiver job to be considered for a position with a professionally licensed senior care company.

Once trained as a caregiver, you will understand the basic caregiving skills along with legal requirements such as these topics which are mandatory in most states:

  • Understanding Job Description and Recording of Care Plan Notes
  • Understand, Identify and Report Elder Abuse
  • Infection Control
  • Safe Transfers and Assistance with Mobility
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Loss Care
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Stroke Types and Recovery from Strokes
  • And More

Caregivers are not "caretakers", who take care of real estate property, but "givers" of care services to make daily life easier. Becoming a caregiver involves learning about training requirements in your state and understanding both the emotional and physical care needs. Anyone with a caring disposition can become a caregiver by investing time in learning the additional caregiving skills. Many states now outline specific guidelines for caregiver training skills. Just like you take classes to become a commercial truck driver or a chef, special training courses are now required for professional caregivers. Senior caregivers also are required to learn about elder abuse and privacy requirements and all of these caregiving skills may be learned in an online caregiver training course.

By becoming a caregiver, you will be able to always have ongoing employment. Caregiving job positions are usually in a senior's home although there are also positions in Assisted Living Communities and Residential Assisted Living Communities. Sometimes, families will hire a professional caregiver to assist when someone is in a hospital and nursing home when the family cannot be there to support and assist with care. Part-time and Full-time positions are always available. 

What do Caregivers Do?

Professional caregivers will assist those they are providing care for with what is called "Activities of Daily Living" or "ADL's" which means all those tasks we perform every day: getting dressed, eating, tidying up, bathing, bathroom visits, exercise, household tasks, medication reminders, errands. In addition, as seniors age, they may need more assistance coping with age-related illnesses and performing routines a doctor has suggested, from mental to physical exercises. When you become a caregiver, you will also become a companion to someone. Companionship comes along with caregiving, as sometimes seniors are alone and engaging in conversation and activities helps maintain good emotional health. Seniors who are experiencing memory loss need caregivers to make sure they maintain daily tasks for safety reasons, too. Seniors who are unable to safely live alone may have a live-in caregiver who will have down-time in the evening and sleep at night. They will not actually move-in with the senior but stay for a few days and then rotate out and go home and another caregiver will work the remaining days of the week. Caregiving positions are both private-pay and provided as a community care service for low-income seniors on Medicaid. Individuals who have permanent disabilities will also often have an ongoing caregiver to assist them.

Do You Have to be Certified to be a Caregiver?

Caregiver training programs allow caregivers to become certified as knowledgable in caregiving skills. Caregiver Training University certifies caregivers with an in-depth exam to confirm retention of the knowledge they were taught in the training course.

  Caregivers may obtain a t-shirt and lapel pin from Caregiver       Training University to showcase their certification. State   mandates that have been passed into law to require caregiver   training will include annual renewal training courses to make   sure the caregiver has maintained their capabilities. Certified   caregivers also learn how to safely provide care and keep   themselves safe when working as a caregiver. Learning how to   interact with a senior with memory loss, for instance, makes a   big difference in the quality of the care. How do you connect   with a senior with Alzheimer's Disease? Caregiver certification   training programs teach these skills. Specific training will   expand on caregiving skills for seniors recovering from a   stroke, seniors with Parkinson's disease, seniors with cardiac   issues and more. In addition, learning how to use new   technology to deliver quality care will also be taught.

  All caregivers should become trained to make sure they   are following privacy laws and protecting themselves. Most states in the U.S.A. do require caregiver training and you can learn more by viewing the Caregiverlist state caregiver training requirements by-state.

How to Become a Certified Caregiver

Online caregiver training allows you to become a certified caregiver. You may take a state-certified caregiver training course, for example the state of Illinois requires an initial 8-hour training course which you may purchase online. You may take the course at your own pace, reading the editorial and watching the caregiver training videos and then take an exam to confirm retention of the information. Then you receive a certificate that designates the name of the course, the date the training was taken and provides and overview of all the topics you were taught, such as safe transfers, infection control, emergency preparedness, care plan notes, HIPAA for maintaining privacy and more.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Caregiver?

Becoming a new caregiver will usually take about 5 to 10 hours with most state mandated training courses. A few states, such as New Jersey, do require more than 60 hours of training, to learn more about hands-on care and body systems. 

 Online training courses, such as the certification training offered by Caregiver   Training University, allow you to log-in and out and take the training in what is called "self-paced". This means you can spend more time reading and even         re-reading information that may be new to you. Once you have finished reviewing   all of the material, you will take an exam and immediately receive your score and   your certificate to be a certified caregiver.

 Reasons to Become a Caregiver

 Caregivers often have personal experience caring for a family member or   neighbor.  Anyone with a caring personality can learn to be a good caregiver. The   work will be very fulfilling as you are really making a positive difference in   someone else's life. A college-level of education is not required although   sometimes those with a higher level of education will choose to work as a   caregiver. If you are a Mom and need a part-time schedule, caregiving can fulfill   this need. Also, for those with a high-school level of education, caregiving will   deliver a professional career that will offer the opportunity to explore obtaining   more education to work in other areas of healthcare.  

 For those who may be in positions that are in manufacturing or deliver, for the   same level of pay, they can become a caregiver an enjoy assisting a senior in   their own home which can be safer and also more rewarding.

  If you have lost a spouse or loved-one you provided caregiving services to,   becoming a caregiver may be a way to share your skills and compassion with   another family to make their caregving journey easier. Seniors are living longer   lives and caregiving services allow them to better enjoy their daily lives. The   oldest-old (those age 85 and older) may have hearing and memory issues and yet still maintain active and interesting lives. Working as a caregiver enables you to interact and learn from someone while earning a paycheck.

You Enjoy Working with Seniors

Anyone who already appreciates the wisdom of seniors and the interactions with someone from another generation can have the benefit of becoming a senior caregiver and meeting more seniors. If you are already experienced in caregiving, become a senior caregiver, even if just part-time, to share your skills. Seniors who may want part-time work can enjoy the companionship of an older senior by becoming a professional caregiver.

You Want to Pursue a Career in the Medical Field

Working as a senior caregiver will allow you to learn more about the healthcare field as a career opportunity. Caregivers maintain a plan of care for seniors which will have information that will often be shared with the medical doctors. Becoming a caregiver will also allow you to go to doctor's appointments with the senior and learn about how medical professionals care for age-related illnesses. Additional care professionals such as Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, Registered Nurses and Occupational Therapists may visit the senior to provide services. You'll also learn about all the medical services required, along with the providers, for a variety of medical conditions a person may be receiving treatment and care for along with how the different conditions progress.

You're Already Taking Care of a Family Member

If you have been taking care of a family member as a caregiver, you may want to consider applying the skills you have learned to a professional caregiving job. Care services will often be easier for others as family members can be more demanding and take their emotions out on the people closest to them. In professional caregiving positions, caregivers are often the most cherished person to the care recipient and the most appreciated. While situations vary widely, you'll be introduced to new people and be able to use your skills in a professional work setting.

Caregiver Job Options

Part-time and full-time caregiving positions are always available.

Becoming a senior caregiver in most states can be done in 1 to 2 days and you then will be in demand as an employee by senior home care agencies who are always hiring. As seniors may suddenly have a medical emergency, such as a stroke or hip replacement, they then very quickly need caregiving services. This is why senior home care agencies are always hiring and seeking more individuals to become caregivers.

Additional Career Opportunities for Caregivers

Review the state training requirements in your state to become a senior caregiver or a caregiver for someone who has a permanent need for caregiving services.

Become a caregiver today by taking an online caregiver training course, or, refer-a-friend to become a caregiver. The senior caregiver industry has been designated as one of the top-10 growth industries in the next decade as seniors are living longer and medical care has advanced to provide more healthcare services to prolong our lives. At the same time, adult children often live in other cities and states and cannot become the caregiver for their parents as they age. More senior caregivers are needed.