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Well, I have nothing to add - everyone here gave great detail on how to go about it. Good luck and follow your heart and dreams! :)
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Volunteer at a local hospital or senior center.

Logging clinical hours taking care of people will tell you if you are well-suited to this often demanding position. Hold a volunteer position where you aid seniors in getting exercise, taking pills, putting on clothing and showering for at least a few months.

Complete cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course. All aids should have the physical ability and the training to perform CPR. This will require training hours from a fee-based program at a college, lifelong learning center or through a private organization.

Get your Certified Nursing Assistants Certificate. -- This will help immensely in obtaining and getting hired by great agencies, or if you choose to go into business for yourself (which is much harder said than done), that is an absolute requirement.
Seeking training as a CNA will enhance your medical knowledge and duties as a personal caregiver. You will learn some basic nursing skills, observation, infection control and patient care. You will complete lab studies and clinical training hours.

Then as a caregiver, you will need to decide what type of care giving you would like to do. Child, Adult, Seniors, Hospice, Special Needs, or all of the above.

A great way, as I see you are doing is, is to start taking care of a family member, a friend, or someone you know. Many caregivers (like myself), got into the business this way.

Determine if you want to be eligible to be able to care for individuals that are under the C.O.P.E.S. program (I think that is a federally funded program so the name should be familiar in all 50 states). If not, it is to assist those, that are in need that have less funds, but it is a terrific way to make a difference. The State is very good about assisting caregivers that choose to assist, and that does not need to be 40 hours per week.

Decide if you want to market yourself, or if you would like to start out with an Agency. I think caregiving is a job, that really, one day at a time, you fall into place where you belong.

Agencies are a good option for people who do not want to search for work on their own. You must be open to working with a wide variety of people and health problems. Another advantage is that you can apply for the position without a past in caregiving and receive all your training while getting paid.

Agency-hired caregivers typically earn slightly less per hour than those who are individual contractors.

Become an independent professional caregiver. After developing some good references, you can advertise your services directly to the community. The following ways are common for professional caregivers to seek work.

Word of mouth
Deliver business cards to your local churches, hospitals and Senior Centers (and/or flyers)
Possibly find an online company that is willing to post independent caregivers.

All of those are great ways. Also, just a note, September and June are great month's to caregiver for families, as September, families need before and after school care for their children, and in May-June, they will need full time Summer care.

Seniors tend to be cyclical, and unfortunately when seniors fall tends to be in the fall. So the winter month's I have found that the individual caregiving needs go up for seniors.

These are just my own personal observations, so others may have a complete other set.

Join a group, or belong and come into, as talking to people is a great way, and also I thing healthy way for you to work in this field day in day out, and know you are taking time for yourself etc.

Smile, have a Good Attitude, and Good luck on your new journey!
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pam is just a very smart cookie that knows her stuff and full of great advice!!!
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pamstegman, are you an online moderator, or a person of education in this field. I see you everywhere.
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Training for CNA is usually offered through hospitals and community colleges. Classes at
Okefenokee Technical College - Waycross
1701 Carswell Ave., Waycross, GA 31503
Phone: (912) 449-7979

Ware County High School Nurse Aide Training Program - Waycross
700 Victory Drive, Waycross, Georgia 31503
Phone: (912) 287-2351

Baptist Village Inc. - Waycross
2650 Carswell Ave., Waycross, GA 31503
Phone: (912) 283-7050

Waycross Health and Rehabilitation Center Nurse Aide Training
1910 Dorothy Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Phone: (912) 285-4721
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I see from your profile that you are already caring for someone at home.
Some basic nursing experience would be a good start. you can take a five week course and become a CNA ( Certified Nursing Assisant) This will reqire classroom instructionand training and practical experience in a Nursing Home or Hospital.
Once you are certified you can apply for a paid job and you will be required to perform all the basic care such as bathing, escorting to bathroom and taking vitals. Temperature ,pulse,respirations, blood pressure and oxygen stats. You may also feed patients, move them around in wheel chairs and escort them while they walk the halls. You may also be required to assists LPNs and RN's when they perform certain tasks.
The other alternative is to work with patients in their homes. Depending on the time spent in the home, you will bathe, do patient's laundry, light housekeeping of the patients area. You can work through an agency or public health or hospice or set up your own independent business.
You will provide your own work clothes. Anything else you may need in the form of supplies such as depends, mouth swabs, a B/P machine should be supplied by your agency or the patients family.
This is not an easy job. You are on your feet for the whole shift and answer every call bell. If you plan to go and become an LPN or RN this is a very good experience to build on especially if you are short of money. You can work as an aide while you are taking futher training. Good Luck as you go forward
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