I'm 50+ and I'm a widow. I've always loved care for ones. Are there any openings for someone like me and if so how do I get started?

BurntCaregiver offers some suggestions on the levels of caregiving you might want to pursue. If you're interested in dementia care, there are specific certifications you can earn, such as Certified Dementia Caregiver. You should also have dementia specific training. Being certified shows patients you're committed to providing the best care possible

Besides those credentialed occupations, however, there are many personal attributes that a person should have to be an effective, caring, person- centered carer. Some of these are compassion, ability to handle or know what to do in an emergency, ability to separate emotions from patients needs, patience, flexibility, and empathy, for example. Being person-centered is important. Being a caregiver isn't one size fits all. Person-centered care means establishing a relationship with the client and their families, not just as a client, but as an individual with specific needs- comfort, safety, understanding, and emotional support, for example.

I would suggest that you look into becoming certified as a caregiver. Programs and courses are available for as little as $100-500. The following links might help you get started. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to sjplegacy

Qualifications depend on what kind of care you're looking to start doing and what state you're in. Here are the levels of in-home care as I know them.

The first level of care is Homemaker/Companion. These people do housekeeping, meals, provide companionship, run errands, and take the clients out (recreational activities, drs appointments, shopping). The do not do any hands-on care. They also remind clients to take their meds but aren't allowed to handle them.

The second level of care is CNA/HHA (Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide). These are people who usually have to do all of the first level of care jobs along with their own. CNA/HHA has to have a training certificate and in some states the person has to have worked for one year in a care facility before they can do homecare. The main job of the CNA is hands-on client care (toileting, diapering, bathing, repositioning, transferring, dressing, feeding, maintenance of some types of medical equipment). They too remind clients to take their meds, but most in homecare will just give it to them if there's no one else to do it.
The third level is the APCNA (Advanced Practice Certified Nurse's Assistant). This person is pretty much like an LPN or LVN only they have to do all the above jobs, along with doing client meds and other basic procedures (monitoring vitals, blood pressure and pulse ox checks, dressing changes, use of and basic maintenance of some medical equipment). They get more money than the first two, but not as much as a nurse. The education costs far less than nursing school. Not worth it though. Become an actual nurse if you want to be in this field. The work is more stable, the pay is higher, and you don't have to do disgusting the grunt work. The CNA's do that.
I can't for the life of me understand why on earth you'd want to become an in-home caregiver. I did it almost 25 years and the thought of doing it makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

Agingcare is a caregiver support site, not an employer of caregivers. But, you started in a good place. You may find you need us if you become a caregiver. Call agencies in your area to see if there are any requirements in your state or of your employer. A few national agencies are Visiting Angels, Home Instead or Right at Home, there are many. Or a nursing home?

You should not have any trouble finding a position, there is rapid turnover most places due to low pay and work conditions being the behaviors commonly seen in the elderly.
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Reply to gladimhere

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