Caregiver Pay: Minimum Wage Catching Up as Connecticut Increases to $10.10

Connecticut is leading the way with more than basketball for the U.S.A., as UConn wins the March Madness Final Four Basketball Tournament and legislators increase the minimum wage to be above $10.00 per hour.  They are a state that is showing us how to move things forward in more ways than one this year.

Caregivers working as professionals for senior care companies already earn more than minimum wage, with the average companion caregiver hourly rate at $10.00 per hour.  As the national conversation around minimum wage has continued to engage our country, Connecticut becomes the first state to step forward and pass legislation requiring minimum wage in their state to be $10.10 per hour by January 2017.  They gave plenty of time for this to go into action - maybe enough time for the current law makers to be out of office - but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Senior caregivers are in demand as the country's Baby Boomer population ages.  Anyone with a caring personality, clean background check and desire to connect with a senior may begin a career as a senior caregiver by applying to a part-time or full-time caregiver job in their area.  While professional senior care companies will provide training for each client, and provide training to meet any licensing requirements in their state, they may also prefer that you have some personal caregiving experience.  You may take an online course to learn the basic caregiver skills.  You may also refer-a-friend to be a senior caregiver as right now there are not enough caregivers in many areas of the country.

Chicago, Illinois Caregiver Wins Refer-a-Friend Monthly Grand Prize for Referring Her Friends to Caregivelist Job Application

Congratulations to the February monthly winner of Caregiverlist Refer-a-Friend and Win program - caregiver Monet Coleman from Chicago, IL.

Monet referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on, and she won a free stylish scrubs outfit and a pair of shoes, courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. February caregiver winner will receive a chic scrub to look fabulous this spring, as a thank you for taking care of her loved ones, and for making a difference in seniors' lives. Read Rebeca's caregiving story to find out what lead her to caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family and coworkers for professional Caregiving Jobs near you.


Here is Monet's reasons as to why she enjoys being a Caregiver:

What led you to begin a career in caregiving?

The main thing that led me to begin a career in caregiving was my grandmother who I cared for before she passed away last year. I also was led by my love for the elderly and for the children.


What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?

One of my most memorable caregiving experiences was when I would just sit and talk with my grandmother, because she wasn't always up to beat with holding conversations, but when she was we would have awesome conversations about the past on how me and my siblings would come over her house for the weekends. It was perfect.


What has being a caregiver taught you?

Being a Caregiver has taught me a big deal of responsibility. Since I do not have kids yet, I have hands on experience with caring for one of my family members long term.


How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?

I manage the stress that comes with caregiving by not even thinking of the stress consistently, because I am not the type that gets overly stressed, it happens every once in a while but not too often.


Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A.’s, & C.H.H.A.’s weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your professional caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.


Refer-a-friend to Caregiverlistand get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One monthly GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (top, bottoms and pair of shoes), courtesy of Scrubs Magazine.

Refer-a-Friend for Caregiverlist Caregiver Jobs and Win

West Virginia Caregiver Wins Caregiver Job Refer-A-Friend Weekly Prize

Congratulations to this weeks winner of the Caregiverlist Refer-A-Friend and Win Program- Caregiver Sydney Stone from West Virginia

Sydney referred her friends and family for caregiving jobs that are available on, and she won a free 8-hour Training from Caregiverlist Training University. Every weekly winner will receive a free training. Read Sydney's story to find out what lead her to her caregiving career, and then refer your friends, family, and coworkers to professional caregiving jobs near you.
Meet Sydney to learn more about the benefits of becoming a professional senior caregiver.
-What led you to begin a career in caregiving?
I love helping people no matter what their age is.
-What is one of your most memorable caregiving experiences?
Dinner time was always fun and I was constantly laughing.
-How many years have you been a caregiver?
Two years.
What has being a caregiver taught you?
How do you manage the stress that comes with caregiving?
I take a break and call my mom
Senior care companies hire Professional Caregivers, C.N.A's and C.H.H.A's weekly from Caregiverlist, the only Caregiver Career Center customized for the senior care industry. Build your profession caregiver resume, and apply for multiple caregiving positions near you online.
Refer-A-Friend to Caregiverlist and get entered to win a free 8-hour online caregiver training program. A new winner is drawn weekly. One month GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives a Scrub of the Month (tops, bottoms, and shoes) courtesy of Scrubs Magazine. 


Online Caregiver Training Tools for Senior Caregivers

Digital caregiver training tools are now available for anyone desiring to become a professional senior caregiver.  The caregiver training can also be taken by family caregivers who want to deliver safe care to a loved one and also gain knowledge about a senior's care needs.

Online caregiver training allows a caregiver to learn the subject matter from anywhere.  In senior care, where work shifts can be day or night, this is a valuable benefit.

Caregiver Training University's Basic Caregiver Training course provides an understanding of the 12 content areas most needed in senior care and originally created by a senior home care industry association.  

Online senior caregiver course manuals provide the overview of each concept along with tip sheets, study sheets, a practice quiz and then a final exam which contains 3 questions for each concept to meet testing guidelines to confirm retention of the information learned.

How doe a caregiver take an online training course?

Simply sign-up online with a credit card, receive a log-in and password, review the course materials and take the exam.

What are the basic skills taught in a professional senior caregiver training course?

  • Caregiver Job Responsibilities
  • Communication Skills
  • Care Plan Notes
  • Personal Care and Toileting
  • Adaptive Equipment for Transfers
  • Basic Hygiene and Infection Control
  • Maintaining Clean and Safe Environments
  • Basic Personal and Environmental Safety Precautions 
  • Basic First Aid and Emergency Procedures
  • Client Personal, Financial and Health Information: HIPPA
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect: Identify and Understand

An online training course allows anyone who may be considering a career in senior care to understand the skills that will be involved.  Senior care involves both physical and emotional care.  Unlike many careers, a professional caregiver must take into consideration the need to manage a close relationship with their senior client.  Just as with any personal relationship, there can be happy and sad moments in caregiving and this means caregivers must have the necessary skills to handle situations in a professional manner.

Communicating with seniors effectively makes a difference in the quality of the caregiving.  Many times a senior may be experiencing loneliness because of a spouse or friend's death.  Imagine what it would be like if every month someone you know passes away - this begins to happen to everyone as we age.  Caregivers must learn how to connect with a senior and can do so better if they understand the generational differences.

Elder abuse actually occurs most frequently by a close loved one or relative and often is in the form of financial or emotional abuse.  Some states also hold accountable anyone who witnesses the abuse and does not report it.  This is just one more reason why professional caregiver training can be useful for any caregiver.

Become a certified caregiver by taking an online caregiver training course, at your own pace, and you will be able to deliver quality senior care to both friends, families and clients when working as a professional caregiver.  

To help get you started, here is a sample Caregiver Basic Training question:

Key situations when hand hygiene should be performed include:

A) Before touching a patient

B) After contact with blood, body fluids or excretions

C) After glove removal

D) All of the Above

Review the caregiver training course sections and sign-up for caregiver training to learn this answer and more.


Online Caregiver Training Delivers Caregiver Certification

How to Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Assistant)

Senior caregiving has become an industry segment, with professional in-home senior care service companies growing by more than 40% since 2008.  This comes as no surprise because the number of seniors continues to grow with the post-World War II Baby Boomers aging and living longer than any generation before them.  This leads to one job description within the senior care industry which has exceptional career growth and high demand for more workers: C.N.A. or Certified Nursing Assistant.

What is a C.N.A.?

A Certified Nursing Assistant has professional training to provide hands-on assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) and to monitor and record health care issues, such as vital signs and meals eaten.  A C.N.A. may also be called a nursing aide.  Many people consider them nurses and just use the term nurse to also mean a C.N.A.  This is an important reminder that C.N.A.'s works as part of the care team.  All Registered Nurses actually receive C.N.A. training during nursing school and many R.N.'s work as C.N.A.'s while they are in nursing school or during summer and winter breaks from nursing school.

What are the C.N.A. School Admission Requirements?

High-School Diploma or G.E.D.

C.N.A. Training:  The First Step in Becoming a C.N.A.

Certified Nursing Assistant training was created more than 35 years ago when Genevieve Gipson, a Registered Nurse working in Ohio, decided care would be better of nursing assistants had consistent training.  As patient care needs can vary in a hospital and nursing home, she found it extra difficult to not know what type of training a nursing assistant already had when care began.  She pulled together a team and eventually Congress passed legislation for C.N.A. training to be required in every state nationwide.  In addition, each state would need to manage the certification process by having nursing assistants pass a state exam to be certified as a nursing assistant after attending a state-approved C.N.A. training program.  Many states require a minimum of 120 hours of training but some states, such as California, require 150 hours of training to become a C.N.A.

Find a C.N.A. school in your state and review their costs and requirements in Caregiverlist's C.N.A. School Directory.

Here are some examples of C.N.A. School costs, length of programs to give you a quick snapshot:

       Name of C.N.A. School                           Cost        Length

Malcolm-X College in Chicago, IL:                                        $900.00        8 Weeks   

Florida Educational Institute in Miami, FL:                           $500              8 Weeks

Premier Choice Health Service in Columbus, OH:               $400              2 Weeks

Sterling Health Careers in Houston, TX:                              $800              4 Weeks

Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ:                                          $1,069           10 Weeks

Healthcare Academy of California, San Diego, CA:          $1,700          3 Weeks

Pasadena College of Health, Pasadena, CA:                       $1,200             4 Weeks

SacMed Training, Sacramento, CA:                                     $1,000             4 Weeks

Apollo, Portland, OR:                                                           $1,000             4 Weeks

Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville, WI:                   $947                4 Weeks

As you can see, most C.N.A. Schools cost around $1,000 and provide training for one month, with additional 'In-service" training which means you'll work side-by-side another experienced C.N.A. at a hospital or nursing home.  Financial aide in the form of scholarships and grants are often available and sometimes employers will also pay for the nursing aide training.  Remember, the length of the nursing aide training program depends on if classes are offered part-time or full-time and the costs will vary slightly, too, depending on if the school is public or private.  Community college programs usually cost less if they receive state funding to offer the nursing assistant training program.  Always talk to a school admissions counselor for guidance and assistance with financial aide options.

Learn more about the certified nursing aide job description, take a practice C.N.A. test and apply for a companion caregiving job to gain experience working in the senior care industry - an industry predicted to be the top industry for jobs in the next decade.  Caregiverlist's job application allows you to reach multiple employers in your area, as hiring continues to be on-going since seniors may need immediate care upon hospital discharge after a stroke or hip-replacement or diagnosis with memory loss.  You may also obtain professional caregiver training through an online training course to learn basic caregiving skills before you start your C.N.A. training program.



Become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Aide) by attending a C.N.A. School

Senior Health Care Costs Decrease Centers for Medicare Announces

The Affordable Care Act (also called Obama Care) has reduced the costs of prescription drugs and expanded access to preventative care for seniors across the country.  While the politicians have made hay, as they say, with arguing about all the downsides of the new healthcare law, the reality is that I have yet to meet a healthcare professional who will not say off the record that the new law is a step in the right direction and a must.  Certainly as with anything that was sorely broken, it will take time to heal and patch up our healthcare system.  Some things will need to be massaged and changed. But a geriatric doctor also told said to me once, "imagine if every senior had health insurance their entire life".  He told me that he was astonished at the number of seniors who had never had any healthcare until they turned age 65 and went onto Medicare or Medicaid.  After he finished medical school and began his practice he realized that the majority of seniors with acute health issues simply had the issue because there had never been preventive care for them.

As we move into year 2014, Caregiverlist with be highlighting the good news about healthcare for seniors to make sure everyone can take advantage of innovations in health care, medications and lifestyle guidelines that can make for a happier and healthier life.

Affordable prescription drugs are vital for seniors and the new healthcare law delivers this in addition to more preventive care screenings.

FREE Preventive Care Screenings for Seniors Under Affordable Care Act Include:

  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Flu Shots
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Blood Pressure Screening

These preventive care tests can save lives - and over time will save money for the Medicare budget.  As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans remain stable and strong.  The Center for Medicare Services announced that the average Medicare Advantage premium in 2014 is projected to be $32.60 and the average prescription drug plan premium in 2014 is projected to be $31 per month, keeping with the same rate for the past four years.

The deductible for standard Part D plans will decline by $15 in 2014, to $310 and since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, average premiums for seniors are down by 9.8%.  All good news for seniors.

Speaking of good news, apparently the happiest people on earth live in Denmark.  And guess what they have that may lead to this happiness?  Free healthcare and education, both provided for by their government.  If you don't have to worry about how to pay for healthcare or your college education, that takes away a couple of the largest issues we have in the U.S.A. Maybe once the new healthcare law becomes old news, we can give America's politicians something new to argue about and ask them to find a way to pay for everyone's college education but we'll stick to focusing on senior care.

Plan ahead for your senior care needs and understand the costs of senior care by visiting the Caregiverilst Nursing Home Directory which includes the daily costs of a single or shared room in a nursing home along with the Medicare and Medicaid acceptance.  Remember, too, as you celebrate the new year, that there continues to be a need for more senior caregivers and nursing aides so refer anyone who may be looking for a new job to the Caregiverlist Career Center.

Happy New Year!

Caregiver Recruitment Tools for Joining Largest Growing Industry

Senior caregivers will be one of the fastest growing industry sectors for employment in the coming decade.  Why?  Because America's seniors are living longer while needing care services for more of their senior years.  In addition, senior care services are moving to the home and with the new Affordable Care Act, there is a drive to reduce the need to be hospitalized over and over again for the same health issue.

While the new healthcare law has continued to be debated over and over again, one of the positive aspects of the law is what is called "accountability of care".  This portion of the law pretty much makes sense to everyone.  I mean, who wouldn't want to be not held accountable for their job.....which is probably another blog post.......but back to the topic which is being accountable. The new healthcare law says, "Hey Mr. Hospital, if you are going to discharge a patient from the hospital because you say they are well enough to go home, if they come back into the hospital in a few days or the next week, then maybe something is wrong with your patient care system, and, because of this, Medicare is no longer going to reimburse you at the higher hospital patient care rate."

This means hospitals must now be more accountable for their senior care, or, they won't be paid as much.  And the result is that the hospitals now actually care where you end up when you leave the hospital.  That is a good thing which also means more hospitals really want to be sure there are quality senior caregiving services in place when a senior goes home.

Caregiver recruitment now has become a priority by senior home care agencies to enable them to always have a quality caregiver to staff to the new senior clients they receive each day and week as the seniors are discharged from the hospital.

Professional senior caregivers must meet certain requirements such as:

  • Successfully Pass Criminal Background Check
  • Professional Caregiver Training Meeting State Requirements
  • Consistent to Work Track Record
  • Personal or Professional Senior Caregiving Experience
  • Interest in Fulfilling Employment Assisting Seniors

Online caregiver recruitment tools include producing a professional caregiver resume, obtaining a criminal background check and completing a basic caregiver training course for professional senior caregiving positions.  

Senior care employment includes working for the following senior care companies:

Assisted Living Communities

Senior Home Care Agencies

Home Health Agencies (Medicare/Medicaid Services)

Nursing Homes 

Part-time, full-time and "live-in" positions are available as some age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease require around-the-clock care.  Live-in care does not mean that you actually move in and live with the client but instead is a term to refer to the position requiring full household management where the caregiver will spend the night with the senior and sleep at night.  Live-in caregivers go to the senior's home for a few days in a row and earn a full week's pay in just a few days.

Learn more about becoming a senior caregiver and apply to a professional senior care job in your area on Caregiverlist.  Senior care companies subscribe to Caregiverlist's recruitment platform to allow them to efficiently hire new caregivers each week in order to keep up with their staffing needs.





Background Checks: How to Perform Your Own Background Check to Protect Your Identity

Senior caregivers working for professional senior care companies must pass a criminal background check in order to be hired.  Individuals seeking to become professional caregivers or a certified nursing aide may enjoy a guarantee of employment as long as they can pass a criminal background check. This means proper identity information is crucial for a senior caregiver’s background check to return accurate information in order to obtain employment. Caregivers need to understand how to protect their identity and understand the information included on a criminal background check.   Senior care companies conducting criminal background checks on employees include:

  • Licensed Senior Home Care Agencies
  • Long-term Care Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Communities
  • Hospitals

How do you protect your identity as a professional caregiver?  Especially knowing you will change care companies multiple times throughout your career?  We live in a digital information age making it even more important to protect your personal identity information both offline and online. 5 Background Check Identity Protection Tips:

1) Purchase Your Own Background Check Annually:  once a year buy a background check on yourself to see the information that is on your criminal record and to confirm the names and addresses attached to your Social Security number.  Research to be sure you understand the right type of quality criminal background check to purchase.

2) Maintain and update online passwords: pick passwords that are unique. Be sure you have anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and a firewall on your computer. Use encryption software to safeguard your online transactions.  Never respond to an email requesting a password reset unless you asked for this yourself on the company’s website. Look for the “lock” on your browser’s status bar which you will see when you are using an online bank’s website.  

3) Review your mailbox, even the junk mail:  if you begin receiving mail in another name at your address, call the sender to investigate.  Be mindful if you stop receiving monthly bills or if your name should change in anyway on your usual subscriptions.

4) Monitor credit card statements:  even if a small amount appears that may not have the exact name of a company you are familiar with purchasing from, call to investigate the transaction.  Some credit card number thiefs will first do a small $10 transaction before making additional charges.

5) Limit credit cards used:  try to limit the number of credit cards you make purchases with to also limit the number of companies that have your information and who are running credit reports on you.  When the friendly department store clerk asks if you would like an additional discount on your purchase by opening up a charge card, just say “no”.

Act quickly if you do discover improper names and addresses associated with your name.  The background check companies do have formal dispute investigation systems in place (you will need to fill out a form to start the ball rolling) and the credit reporting bureaus also will work with you to clear up misinformation.  However, it is a time-consuming process.  The best way to insure a proper criminal background check is to make sure you do not engage in criminal behavior (don’t break the law).  Then be mindful of your spending behaviors to protect your identity.  Check your own background once a year in order to be able to immediately correct mistaken identity information. Review the by-state background check laws to see if employers can review your criminal history beyond just 7 years and purchase a quality background check. Then apply for a professional caregiving job or refer-a-friend to a caregiving job as more caregivers are needed to keep up with the care needs for America's growing senior population.

Caregiver Job Interviews: Study Shows 81% of People Lie in Job Interviews

Interviewing job candidates for any position is never easy.  Job candidates perhaps don't mean to lie, but the fact is that most do embellish something about themselves to appear more qualified for the job.  In some cases the lies may be acceptable - saying you have 2 years of experience instead of 1 year but other lies can be dangerous, especially in senior care.

Have you used a gait belt before?  If you say you have when you have not (or if you do not even know what a gait belt is) then you could be putting both yourself and the senior in danger if you are trying to wing-it when using a gait belt for the first time. Same thing with assisting with toileting, bathing and feeding.

Have you had training in dealing with seniors who have memory loss?  Senior caregivers who have not had memory loss senior care training will not know some of the simple strategies to use to keep the day going smoothly and to respond correctly to the senior.

Finding the right caregivers for senior care takes talent and experience.  This is why senior home care agencies are vital as providers of senior care and this is also why senior care is nothing at all like babysitting. Proper training for senior caregiving is required in order for the caregiving to be both safe and effective to assist in healthy aging.

Those of us who hire people regularly already know that people lie a bit in job interviews.  But we have systems in place to flesh out the facts.

Senior caregiving agencies also have systems in place to properly qualify a caregiver's skill level and then provide training which the caregiver is tested on for retention.  Care Managers also introduce and train each caregiver for their new client assignments and provide ongoing management.  What does the caregiver do when Sue won't take her medications?  Call the office and a Care Manager will assist.  Very often a third-party person to help manage the care makes all the difference as the senior just wants and needs confirmation from a couple of people to keep their tasks moving throughout their day.

And just to confirm that the system used by licensed senior home care agencies is vital which includes an interview, a follow-up interview, reference checks, training and then a quiz to confirm the training was absorbed.......Brent Weiss and Robert S. Feldman of the University of Massachusetts are profiled in the Harvard Business Review, explaining their study which found 81% of people lied about themselves in a job interview.  When the job requirement is more technical, deception increased.  Participants in the study told an average of 2.19 lies per 15-minute interview.

Seniors deserve quality caregivers who can show they have been trained and can perform the necessary skills.  As more and more states pass new legislation (California currently has 2 bills pending which would both require mandatory training requirements for senior caregivers), the quality of care will only improve.  Caregivers should all have basic caregiver training which can be obtained online, meeting industry standards.

Caregivers may learn more about developing the right caregiver interview skills in Caregiverlist's Career Center.

Caregiver Jobs: Shortage of Caregivers Cause for Concern

Caregiving as a profession has grown significantly in the last decade, with a 40% growth in the number of senior home care agencies since 2008.  Caregiverlist's Employment Index profiles the growth in senior home care along with the top cities where seniors age-in-place (or relocate).

Last week, the Wall Street Journal profiled the shortage of C.N.A.'s for nursing homes along with the high turnover and potential need for higher pay and other benefits for certified nursing aides.

Another reason for the shortage of professional caregivers is because many people do not realize caregiving can be a professional job with a career path.  The large growth in senior home care agencies is because senior care is moving to the home.  Seniors often find they prefer one-on-one care in their own home rather than relocating to a nursing home or assisted living community.

This means anyone with a caring personality may be employed by a senior home care agency. In addition, the growth in the number of seniors with memory loss - the Alzheimer's Association reports that nearly 1/3rd of all Americans will have some memory loss, with the risk increasing the longer we live.  This means seniors who are physically healthy -or enjoying healthy aging, will suddenly need caregiving services just to maintain meals and daily activities. 

Companion caregivers assist with medication reminders, meal preparation and daily activities as well as just being a friend to the senior.  Certified Nursing Aides, however, must obtain a certificate in their state by passing a state exam after attending an approved school. C.N.A. programs can be anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks and some programs offer evening courses.

Anyone interested in exploring becoming a senior caregiver can apply for a caregiving job or Refer-a-Friend to be a caregiver to win t-shirts, training and gift certificates each week on Caregiverlist.  Remember, caregiving delivers fulfillment beyond a paycheck while also providing a needed service to seniors.  Online training is also available to gain the necessary skills to provide safe caregiving services and be obtained through Caregiverlist's Certified Training program.



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