How to Become a Senior Caregiver

More senior caregivers are needed as America's seniors are living longer, while requiring some care services for at least a few of their "oldest old' years. Those are the years over age 85 where all of us will experience a decline in abilities as part of the natural aging process where cells stop regenerating.

Caregiving requires skills and with the proper training you can then begin working as a professional caregiver to fill part-time and full-time jobs during weekdays and weekends.

Become a senior caregiver by taking an online caregiver training course meeting the state requirements for states with established guidelines for caregiver training and apply for a senior caregiving job to be considered for positions in your area.

California caregiver training began in January of this year requiring 10 hours of training for new caregivers.


Certified Senior Caregiver Training

Certified caregiver training allows senior caregivers to verify their knowledge and understanding of specific caregiving skills. Many people still do not realize that the senior care industry has established specific training mandates for senior caregivers in many states as senior caregiving has become a profession.

What is certified caregiver training?

This training guides individuals through the basic caregiving skills and explains necessary terms and safety requirements and job duties for professional senior caregivers.

  • Caregiver training concepts usually include the following skills:
  • Safety (for Emergencies and Environmental such as Hurricanes, Earthquakes)
  • Care Plan Duties and Care Plan Notes
  • Personal Care
  • Understanding Age-related Illnesses such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other forms of Dementia
  • Safe Transfers
  • Communication Skills
  • Identifying Elder Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Financial)
  • Personal Care
  • Safe Environment and Infection Control
  • Meal Assistance
  • Emotional Care for Aging Issues such as Death and Grieving
Check out the basic caregiver certification training, meeting state requirements in many states and meeting the initial guidelines outlined by the senior care industry. Online training courses allow anyone to begin a professional caregiving career.
Caregiver Training University provides an overview of training requirements (and you can also find training in Spanish)!


How do you become a professional senior caregiver?

Senior caregivers are needed to fill the need for senior care services as the senior care industry continues to grow. More than 200 senior home care agencies provide care services in the top 20 metropolitan cities in the U.S.A. Part-time and full-time job positions are available for caring individuals to be senior caregivers. 

Senior care services are regulated in each state, just like other businesses. Some states do require specific caregiver training and renewal training each year. This enables caregivers to keep up with caregiving skills and any new requirements that may have been established. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed in 1996 and now requires caregivers to keep any information about a senior client's medical records and personal health information private and training allows caregivers to understand what information can and cannot be shared.

How to become a professional senior caregiver to be hired by a senior care company:

  1. Read the Caregiver Job Description to Understand Companion Caregiving Job Duties
  2. Obtain a Professional Multi-State Background Check, to Check last 3 Counties of Residency
  3. Verify Background Check Accuracy of Information
  4. Organize Available Schedule to Work 
  5. Learn Caregiving Skills by Reading Books and Movies
  6. Consider Online Caregiver Training Courses (Training is Required in Illinois, California and Many other States)

Remember, senior caregiving involves caring for one individual senior when providing senior care services in the home. The senior will build an emotional relationship with the caregiver which is why it is very important for caregivers to commit to a consistent schedule and be reliable. Part-time caregivers are needed but just be sure you are organized with your schedule and provide only the days and times you are truly available to work.

Background checks have evolved with technology but the negative of the computerized results is that many are returning inaccurate information. Especially if you have a common name and have moved frequently, it is more likely you will have results returned that may not be accurate for your name and social security number and this is why you should run a background check on yourself each year. Each of the background check companies offer a process to follow to correct any inaccurate information. Be careful of where you buy your background check as some resellers only offer a social security number confirmation for a name, rather than pulling information from criminal courthouse records.

Take a practice caregiver training quiz to learn about caregiving skills. Online caregiver training allows you to become a certified caregiver in states with caregiver training requirements. After you become a certified caregiver, you may consider becoming a Certified Nursing Aide. C.N.A. training requirements are mandated by a federal law, but states may have additional requirements that require more C.N.A. training hours than the federal law. You can find C.N.A. schools in your area in the Caregiverlist C.N.A. School Directory.

Online caregiver training allows anyone to learn caregiving skills and take the course at their own pace. Find caregiver training requirements in your state or just take the basic caregiver training course to get started as this course meets the requirements for beginning caregivers in California, Illinois and more states. Senior care companies hire caregivers for part-time and full-time positions each week and you can be considered for a new caregiving job by submitting your job application on the industry's caregiving career center.

Family caregivers and professional caregivers can find how others navigate the caregiving journey and learn how to better deal with the aging process by watching these caregiving movies and reading these caregiving books.

How to Become a Certified Caregiver in California

California caregivers, beginning this year, must now show competence in specific training requirements in order to be employed as a senior caregiver. As more seniors prefer to remain in their own homes, having a consistent training path assists senior care companies to maintain quality standards and assists caregivers to grow their careers. Senior home care companies are also required to follow the training requirements and train all of their caregiver employees.

  • How do you become a certified caregiver in California?
Show an understanding, or "competency" in the skills outlined by the California Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act which become effective in January, 2016, while providing time for senior care companies to train their caregivers in 2016. Online caregiver training is accepted for training in the new California law.

  • What is the California caregiver training requirement?
5 + 5 Hours of training with 5 hours surrounding Orientation training and Safety training required before working with a senior and 5 hours in core competency skills such as how to transfer a senior safely, HIPAA privacy requirements, identifying and reporting elder abuse and how to follow a daily care plan and take notes.

  • How much training must a California caregiver complete before working with a senior client?
Orientation training and safety training must be completed before working with a client.

  • How does a caregiver show they are trained?
By taking an exam and obtaining a passing score to show you have understood the concepts outlined by the state of California as caregiver training. Document this by receiving a certificate to show
  1.  name of the training,
  2. date training was taken
  3. name of training resource
  4. signature of the training supervisor.
  5. your signature
California home care agencies do provide caregiver training for their caregivers now and you may also purchase the California caregiver training on your own on Caregiverlist, powered by Caregiver Training University.

Caregivers can apply for a caregiving job to be considered by senior care companies in their area and receive training by their employers, too.

Senior home care agencies in California may train their caregivers using the Caregiverlist training portal and easily keep all of their trainees organized for state compliance and renewal training.


Understanding Senior Caregiver Training Requirements for Professional Caregivers

Senior caregiving services are continuing to grow as more seniors, especially seniors living in developed countries, are living much longer lives than previous generations. Why are seniors living longer?

  • Better Nutrition
  • Better Healthcare Access
  • Better Emergency Treatment (Heart Attacks, Strokes)
  • Caregivers
All of these impact the ability for a person to live a longer life. And one of the biggest reasons is the availability of someone to provide caregiving services. We aren't living in a little house on the prairie anymore. Because adult children very often do not live within a 1 hour drive of their parent's home, the need for paid caregiving services has skyrocketed in the last decade.
Now that senior caregiving has become a licensed profession in many states, training requirements have been created to protect both the senior and the caregiver.

California's new home care services law requires all California caregivers to be trained in 2 hours of orientation training, 3 hours of safety and infection control training and 5 hours in core competency training. Knowing how to effectively communicate with a senior and manage daily activities makes a huge difference in the success of the caregiving services.

  1. Here is what you need to know about senior caregiver training:
  2. Some states require specific training (See California's caregiver training requirements to be a certified caregiver).
  3. Some states require training but do not mandate the exact type of training (See Basic Caregiver Skill training).
  4. Unlike Certified Nursing Aide (C.N.A.) training, which is required by federal law, caregiver training is regulated by each state.
Companion caregivers often assist seniors with memory loss, who may need a caregiver for several years (former President Ronald Reagan had caregiving services for more than 10 years as his memory loss progressed). Caregivers assisting seniors to recover from a major medical event such as a stroke or hip replacement, need additional training to learn how to safely transfer the senior, dress the senior and maintain a safe environment. In addition, understanding what to do as a caregiver, if an environmental emergency such as an earthquake or blizzard happens, also is part of caregiver training.

Just as with any profession, being properly trained allows quality care to be delivered. Digital caregiver training now assists caregivers to easily become trained and certified to meet their state's requirements.



Senior Care Training Online

Senior caregivers are in demand to keep up with the caregiving needs for Amercia's large Baby Boomer generation. We are also entering a new reality of aging where more and more seniors are living to be 100 years old. Medical technology, along with more knowledge about how to live a healthy lifestyle are contributing to longer lives. My own grandmother turns 100 this year and she just had the battery in her pacemaker replaced this week. She told the doctor she only needed a 2-year battery! 

This highlights, though, the fact that part of the way we are living longer is both because of medical advancements and caregiving services. We are fortunate to have family members living near my Grandmother who help with all aspects of her daily living. She also has macular degeneration which has left her with poor vision. She no longer drives and her longer life is due to both caregivers and medical technology. 

More than 50% of adult children do not live within a 1 hour drive of their parents or grandparents. In addition, lifestyles have changed and as women have been able to build their own careers, they are not available to be caregivers. This means we need more people to work as part-time and full-time professional caregivers.

Online caregiver training courses teach basic caregiving skills. Anyone with a caring personality can become a caregiver. Family caregivers also can benefit from online training courses. All of the skills taught help you to be a better caregiver and there are many senior caregiving tasks that you will not know how to do well if you are not taught. Even understanding how to communicate with seniors of different generations helps you to be a better caregiver, along with learning activities for seniors with memory loss, how to maintain a clean and safe environment, do safe transfers, assist with meals and more.

Take an online caregiver training course to become a certified caregiver and submit your job application to be considered for part-time and full-time senior caregiver jobs in your area (or refer-a-friend to a job).

Caregiver Training Classes for Senior Caregivers

Senior caregiver training classes are now required in several states in order to provide a minimum standard of caregiving services for seniors along with protections for both the senior and the caregiver.

California's recent passage of the Home Care Consumer Protection Act requires caregivers there to receive 5 hours of training which include a minimum of 2 hours orientation training regarding the role of a caregiver and expectations as a caregiver employee (such as standard policies and procedures) + 3 hours of safety training encompassing basic safety precautions, emergency procedures and infection control.  This total of 5 hours of training for senior care prior to working with a senior client must then be followed by 5 hours of annual training for any items considered to be a core competency.

Digital caregiver training classes are acceptable for California's caregiver training along with most other states, as the ability to study the text, accompanied by videos and audio, delivers a superior training format.

Keep in mind that senior caregiving skills cover a wide variety of topics and many college-educated individuals, without training, can easily fail the online caregiver training courses. 

While basic caregiving skills include items many of us would think of, such as how to safely transfer a senior from a bed to chair, how to manage a clean environment, how to communicate with someone with memory loss, there are many more skills needed to successfully deliver senior care in a home caregiving environment, such as:

  • Managing Family Dynamics
  • Maintaining Care Plan Notes
  • Understanding Signs of Dementia
  • Emergency Planning 
  • Caregiving for Hospice (Dying) Seniors
  • Universal Infection Control and Precaution
  • Recognition of Abuse (Emotional, Physical, Financial)
  • Proper Nutrition
Caregiving for seniors can be very complicated and is much different than caring for children. Obtaining a basic caregiver training certification enable anyone with a caring personality to become a senior caregiver. Consider becoming a certified caregiver and applying for a job position as a caregiver in your area as more part-time and full-time senior caregivers are needed to assist with caregiving for America's aging population.

Buy Online Caregiver Training to become a Certified Caregiver


How to Become a Certified Caregiver in California as of January 1, 2016

California caregivers have been asking Caregiverlist lots of questions about the new California caregiver training mandate which has become effective as of January 1, 2016.  Here is a quick run down of the new requirements and how to become a certified California caregiver.

What is the new California requirement called?

How many hours of training are required? 5 hours prior to working with a client + 5 hours annually which means a total of 10 hours for new caregivers followed by 5 hours every year of training on any of the core competencies of caregiving.

Can this training be digital? Yes.

How do you verify you have the training? Provide documentation of attending an approved training course covering the required topics and completing an exam showing competencies on the criteria (show that you were taught the info and know it). The Caregiverlist Basic Caregiver Training powered by Caregiver Training University allows you to maintain an account with a log-in and password to always access your training along with other information for caregivers such as popular books and movies to help you learn about all aspects of caregiving and how to "care for the caregiver" which means caring for yourself. Because senior caregiving requires emotional stamina as well as knowledge.

If you are a very experienced caregiver do you still have to take the training? Yes.

What is the ongoing annual training requirement? 5 hours incorporating learning in any core competencies such as age-related diseases, safety, activities of daily living.

How can you show that you have the appropriate training to a new employer? Present the time of training, the name of the training and show verification you completed the course (passing an exam qualifies).

Can your employer provide you with the training? Yes and they are required to do so but you can also present qualifying training upon interviewing.

Does Caregiverlist's digital training meet the requirements? Yes and you may learn more about the Caregiverlist Basic Training, the only training created specifically for senior home care.

How much does the training cost? $59 or $79 if you would like to join the Professional Association of Caregivers at the same time.

Why did California decide to pass a law requiring the training? As more and more seniors are choosing to age-in-place in their own home, the training and licensing requirements present a minimum standard for quality. In addition, the union that pursues caregivers as members through the low-income government caregiving programs, the SEIU, has been an advocate for training requirements (the SEIU won training requirements in the state of Washington which reimburses them for the hours that the caregivers are being trained which is 75 hours - this is too expensive for seniors to afford and because of that senior care companies only hire caregivers who already have the C.N.A. training so that seniors do not have to pay for 75 hours of training for a caregiver prior to having their services begin). The California legislature had dual bills for caregiver licensing and training proposed (one championed by the union) and finally passed AB1217 requiring the 5 hours of annual training and 5 hours prior to a caregiver being staffed with a senior.

Caregiverlist connects the caregiver's training certification from Caregiver Training University to their job application on Caregiverlist.


California Caregiver Training Registry to be Certified Caregiver for Senior CareTraining

California's legislature passed a new requirement for professional senior caregivers in California to now have orientation training and safety training prior to working with a senior client, followed by 5 hours of annual training on core competencies. This training mandate is covered in Article 8 of the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act. Once caregivers have completed this online course powered by Caregiver Training University, they receive a certificate and their name is added to the Certified Caregiver Training Registry.

California senior caregivers also must renew their training each year with 5 hours focusing on any of the core competencies, defined as training on: 

  • Clients' Rights and Safety
  • How to provide for and respond to a client's daily living needs
  • How to report, prevent and detect abuse and neglect
  • How to assist a client with personal hygiene and other home care services
  • If involved in transportation services, how to safely transport a client
  • Review of any job-related topics
The California caregiver training mandate also accepts online training programs for this initial 10-hour training and annual 5-hour training requirement which senior caregivers may take through Caregiver Training University (and their company may also provide them with this online caregiver training through the company' caregiver training portal subscription).

Caregiver Certification California Requirements for 10 Hours of Annual Training for Senior Caregivers

California caregivers must now show they have obtained an initial 5 hours of training before working with a senior client and then 5 hours of training each year. The 5 + 5 hours can be obtained in the Caregiverlist Basic Caregiver Training course through Caregiver Training University. 

California caregiver classes for the training may be digital and the requirements in the law were first outlined in the Assembly Bill 1217 which is why AB1217 is what the training requirements are commonly called.

California home care aides must now, as of January 1, 2016, show they are skilled and trained as follows below.

5 Hours of Training Prior to Providing Caregiving for a Senior which must be:

1) 2 hours of Orientation Training

2) 3 hours of Safety Training including basic safety precautions, emergency procedures and infectioncontrol

3) 5 hours of annual training relating to core competencies such as a clients' rights and safety, how to provide for activities of daily living, how to report, prevent and detect abuse and neglect, assisting with personal hygiene and how to safely transport.

Caregiver Training University provides senior caregivers with training meeting these requirements for just $59. Or, caregivers may join the Professional Association of Caregivers and through this membership receive the training along with a t-shirt and lapel pin to show they have passed the training exam and are certified.

Senior care companies may subscribe to the Caregiverlist Caregiver Training portal to efficiently hire all of their staff at an effective monthly subscription rate, or, purchase packages of caregiver training in bundles. All of your caregivers on staff can be uploaded and enrolled in the training to make the process seamless.  The training portal allows you to easily track and monitor enrollment date, test score, last log-in and provide renewal training each year.  

California senior home care agencies also may hire caregivers who are already certified as passing the caregiver training and view the caregiver's certificates in the Caregiver Certified Training Registry.



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