Becoming a caregiver for the aged is a career choice that many are making. We have an aging population, and with modern technology and health breakthroughs, people are living longer than ever before. Becoming a caregiver provides a rewarding career that allows you to work in the community and truly make a difference.
However, you can’t simply declare yourself a caregiver and start working. You need to make sure that you have the right certifications and training. That way potential employers and your clients know that you have the knowledge and skills to do the job right.
Even if you already have years of experience behind you, training can still be valuable. It allows you to be a specialist, such as in palliative care or with patients with dementia, should you choose. However, there are some things you need to know before you take your first steps into caregiver training. Here is a quick guide.
Skills You Will Learn
Caregivers are special people who are committed to improving the lives of others and making sure they are as healthy as possible. There are many ways that they work to achieve this. They provide mostly non-medical care and day-to-day tasks that the client may not be able to do for themselves. This can include things like personal cleaning, companionship, meal preparation, housekeeping, errands, helping with medications, and even some physical therapy help. You will have to do all of this while still allowing the client to maintain their dignity, independence, and confidentiality. Caregiver training will help you not just with providing those tasks, but with doing so with the needs of the client always as your focus.
It Is Most Likely Required By Your State
Every state has different laws and regulations regarding caregivers. For the vast majority of them, you need to have some type of training and certification to be legally able to enter the homes of clients and provide caregiving services. This is because if the caregiver is unqualified, it could lead to health and safety issues for the client.
Since every state is different, you will need to check what is required for yours before you start planning your career. Luckily, you can find this information easily online. For example, as shown on Caregiverlist’s website, only Alabama requires no training or experience at all. The thing is, even if you live in Alabama, getting training is still beneficial, since it can put you above other candidates who are looking for the same jobs that you are.
Why Is Caregiver Training Important?
Getting the right caregiver training is important for several reasons. For practical reasons, you need to know how to do the job right if you are going to make it your career. However, even if you know how to do all of the tasks listed above, it’s different when you are doing it for an aged client. You need to think for them, and make choices based on their specific wants and needs. They are still independent and have their own agency. Training will help you to be able to provide those services while still centering the client in your mind.
Plus, you will be going into other peoples’ homes and working with the most prized possessions of their families. You must be able to do your job safely and in a way that the client and their family will find trustworthy. Caregiving is also very much about customer services, and many people need some skills training on providing friendly and patient care to their clients.
Traits That You Will Need
However, while there are certain skills that can be taught, there are some traits that you need to largely develop on your own. While you can learn some things enough to fake it, if you don’t have these traits already then caregiving might not be the right career choice for you. For one, as the title of the job suggests, you need to care about other people and their wellbeing.
You must also be patient, since elderly clients may have mobility issues and mental health issues that make things go slower. You must also be a responsible person. You are put into an incredible position of trust with vulnerable people, and you need to make sure that you follow through on everything you need to do for them. You must also be flexible and independent working with those who need care will almost certainly come with some unexpected moments where you need to think on your feet.
Think caregiving is the right career choice for you? Just make sure that you know what you are getting into when it comes to training. If it still sounds attractive, then you could have a rewarding career ahead of you.