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.