Senior caregiving as a profession delivers fulfillment way beyond a paycheck, in addition to paying well above minimum wage. However, sometimes when dealing with the challenges of caregiving and the reality of changing senior clients and positions because of the reality that aging comes with dying eventually. But let's move on to the positive side and a recent book profiling a Grandmother as a Superhero highlights the positive sides of aging.
Working as a professional caregiver also means getting to know a senior and as the industry is growing (companies must hire from 3 to 6 caregivers each week just to keep up with caregiver staffing demands), anyone with a caring personality, valid references, clean criminal background check and a willingness to learn can become a professional senior caregiver….and enjoy the wisdom seniors share.
Superhero Grandma dresses up in full costume and is profiled in a photography book by her grandson called: "Mamika: My Mighty Little Grandmother". This is a reminder of the fun that can be had with a senior client and the fearlessness that can come with aging for some seniors. Aging well, remember, includes maintaining social connections and physical and mental exercise. Congratulations to Mamika for enjoying her 90's by experiencing new adventures.
Wisdom, something gained only by living life with a willingness to learn from mistakes, can be shared with others to perhaps help them have a smoother path. The older we live, the more experiences (and mistakes) we have to share. It is rather enjoyable to cross that line of aging where you have been there and done that and can already read between the lines. And it is fun for seniors to share these lessons learned with those younger than them, including caregivers.
Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist and author, profiled in one of his recent books, Outliers, how successful people achieved their success. One of the sustaining factors for success was being near other key players and having an environment where you would naturally learn more. The genius from the rural Midwest perhaps does not naturally learn some things about achievement in business that the same genius in downtown New York City learns. Senior caregivers will provide care for college professors, retired lawyers and doctors and CEO's and mothers and fathers who have raised children and grandchildren. It is a gift to be able to spend time in the company of these wise seniors.
Senior caregiving as a profession delivers a huge benefit to caregivers in that it allows the caregiver to interact with a senior who has experienced life. Caregivers who are able to connect with their senior clients share their stories of learning so much about life and how to perhaps avoid having regrets when they reach their retirement years. Likewise, when caring for a senior who is perhaps grumpy and unhappy, a caregiver may be able to learn just why the senior is this way.
As the owner of a senior home care agency which served hundreds of seniors, I would often develop relationships with certain clients and then end up going the extra mile for them. I just couldn’t help it – there was something about them which inspired me to do more.
One senior gentleman who lived in an Assisted Living community had 7 children and his one daughter in downtown Chicago managed his care. I found him to be extremely fun to be around. He was a retired lawyer and also had a fun sense of humor. He did have difficulty with mobility and needed full caregiving services. I would always jump at the chance to fill in as Care Manager to introduce a new caregiver just because I enjoyed seeing him. I could also ask him one question about a business or life issue and he would always have some fresh wisdom to pour around it.
One day I realized that really none of his children came to visit him or seemed to have much contact with him. It seemed very odd to me since he was such an interesting person. So I asked his daughter why her brothers and sisters did not seem to check in with their father.
She told me that he was not a nice person all of his life. He had worked the majority of the time and when he was around his family he was simply not nice. She said a lot of things happened over the years and if I knew about them that I would understand why none of the family engaged with him anymore.
As this senior gentleman’s memory loss progressed, his personality did change. This does happen. Seniors who were outgoing their entire lives may become more withdrawn when memory loss develops and then the opposite will happen and seniors who are quite will then become outgoing and talkative. The brain’s functionality simply changes when memory loss occurs.
Senior caregivers are hired every week by senior care companies. There is a need for more professional caregivers in the industry.
Part-time, full-time and weekend and weekday positions are available as seniors may need a variety of schedules to fill-in for when family members cannot be there or when family members live far away or simply are not able to perform the more advanced professional caregiving skills.
Companion caregiving positions only require a caring personality and nursing assistant positions require official certification which can be obtained by attending a C.N.A. program which is usually around 2 to 3 months and then passing the state C.N.A. exam.
Learn more in Caregiverlist’s Career Center and apply to a senior caregiving job near you or Refer-a-Friend and win $50. And maybe you can even photography your own senior caregiving scrapbook of adventures enjoyed as a senior caregiver.