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.



Background Checks for Senior Caregivers: Frequently Asked Questions

Caregiver background checks are required by professional senior care companies.  The word "background check" causes confusion for many and because background checks are regulated under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, it takes extra work to sift through the actual requirements and limitations of information shared in background checks.

Caregiverlist provides information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which has been updated over the years and received more additions to accommodate the terrorism act after September 11, 2001.  The Federal Trade Commission updates the FCRA and each state can also create their own laws governing background checks which may over-ride the FCRA.

What does this mean for senior caregivers?  First, it is important to understand that credit reports are separate from criminal background checks.  The following are frequently asked questions about caregiver background checks, along with answers.

Caregiver Background Check FAQ's

What information is included on an official caregiver background check?

Caregiver background checks first verify the individual "is who they say they are" by matching the person's name to their social security number and all addresses connected with that social security number.  This makes sure the caregiver is not an imposter as true criminals will many times simply steal someone else's identity in order to try to be hired.

Sex offender records are then checked.  Many times background check services will automatically tap into the national database for sex offenders at the same time the social security number match is validated.

After the social security number and name match are verified, then a criminal courthouse record check is performed in each of the counties where the caregiver has lived.

How many years back will criminal records show?  Just 7 years, as required by the federal law, but individual states may pass their own legislation which can allow review of background check information for more than 7 years if the employee will be working with seniors or children.  You may review the "by-state" background check laws to learn the look-back years in your state.

What information do criminal courthouse records show?

  • Arrests
  • Convictions
  • Motor-vehicle violations

Did you run a stop-sign and receive a traffic ticket?  This will show up on your criminal record, unless when you showed up in court the judge "dropped" the charge.  This is why if you have a traffic violation, from speeding tickets to running a redlight, you should always show up in court and try to negotiate for the charge to not show up on your record, and be reduced, if possible.

Theft and domestic violence charges will show up on your criminal record.  As caregivers will be going into a senior's home to assist them, it is very important to only hire a senior caregiver who has demonstrated responsible decision-making and has upheld high ethical and moral behavior.

Criminal courthouses sometimes charge an additional fee to access current records and you should always make sure any background check you are purchasing takes this into account.  Some courthouses do not submit criminal records to a national database daily and an "in-person" check is required which means you must have a real person go into the courthouse to pull the records.

What should caregivers do when applying for a job when they know there is a violation on their background check criminal record?

Be honest.  Also be aware of the 7-year look-back and find out if your state allows for a longer look-back period.  Remember, the federal law mandates that records of arrest, indictment, information, misdemeanor complaint, or conviction of a crime that, from the date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than seven years.

How can a caregiver know what information is on their background check?

You may purchase a criminal background check and review the information.  If there is an error on your background check, you may contact the processing background check company to submit a request for review. This is called an "Applicant Dispute Reinvestigation" and will request supporting documentation to support your dispute with the background check results.

You may purchase a caregiver background check and remember that it is advised for individuals to check their own background check every few years, just to be sure there are no errors.  As we live in the highly "wired" era, one disadvantage of connected computerized information is that one typo can turn Susan into Susie and begin a chain of errors in information.  Caregiver job applicants can also ask their employer to share their background check results with them after they are hired.  Some employers will be willing to do this and others will not.  









Caregiverlist Caregiver Facebook Contest

Caregiverlist is the newest Caregiver Community on the Social Media Block, we’d like to get to know you and share our passion about Caregiving, Caregiver Online Employment Tools and the Caregiver Resources on Facebook.


Help us get to 500 Likes by May 1st, 2013 by Liking our Facebook Fan Page and You’ll be entered to Win a Free T-shirt! You must live in USA to receive your T-shirt.


Hurry and Like, or t-shirts will be gone soon!

As caregiving jobs are growing at an incredible rate, you may want apply for a Caregiving Job Online or Refer-a-Friend and you may Win $50 gift certificate or free t-shirt!

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers that care for the elderly know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers, professional caregivers and certified nursing assistants to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote.  We would like to thank you for caring for our seniors. Remember senior caregivers are needed, please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on and visit our career center for additional career tools. 


caregiver stress relief photo of the week

"The heart is the toughest part of the body. Tenderness is in the hands."

Carolyn Forche

Senior Care Planning: Living to be 105-Years-Old

Senior care costs vary widely, based on the care needs required for the senior and the living situation.  Does the senior live in a home that has been paid for fully and receive social security benefits?  If so, they can better pay privately for caregiving services.  If the senior does not own a home and requires full 24-hour caregiving services, they may qualify for Medicaid benefits, for very low-income seniors, and receive care in a Medicaid nursing home.  This is the safety net for all Americans currently.  However, as nursing home daily costs can vary from $100 to $400 per day, even the Medicaid senior care services are predicted to evolve as the number of seniors will quadruple in the coming decade.

Plan ahead for your own senior care needs to smooth the path for your family.  Remember, life expectancy of a child born in the U.S.A. today is 100 years.  Remember also that how you live your life today - eating right, exercising and finding a fulfilling life purpose, all impact the quality of your health as you age.  Nursing homes are often an extension of a hospital stay for seniors who may need rehabilitation and Caregiverlist's nursing home directory provides the daily cost of nursing homes nationwide.

Happy Birthday to this 105-year old senior who shared her photo with us celebrating her birthday at 105 with her great-granddaughter celebrating her 5-year-old brithday:  Birthday twins at 5 and 105!

Caregivers - let us know how old your senior clients are and if you can top age 105 - photos are welcome.  Enjoying sharing special life moments are another of advantage of working as a senior caregiver.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote.  Thank you for caring for our seniors. Remember more caregivers are needed, please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on and visit our career center for additional career tools. 

"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."

-Henry David Thoreau

Caregiver Tales: Happy Easter!

Chicago caregivers may run into this bunny car, parked in downtown Chicago, this weekend.  Enjoy the holiday weekend, whatever your religion may be.  Sending wishes of Spring to all caregivers!  One of the best parts of being a caregiver is sharing in all the different ways of celebrating Springtime for Americans and a cute bunny springs eternal!  Remember that caregiver stress is real, so take time for a smile and if you would like to share your caregiving story with others, please do so, as we welcome more individuals to become professional senior caregivers and apply for a caregiving job as more caregivers are needed!



CNBC Reports Growth in Senior Home Care Today with Caregiverlist Interview

CNBC's Jane Wells highlights the 40% growth in senior home care since 2008 (even during the recent recession, the senior home care industry has continued to grow exponentially).

Senior home care agencies in southern California are interviewed along with Caregiverlist's CEO.

Tune in at 10:50 and 1:40 Eastern Time

Senior caregivers are in demand as the industry meets the challenges of fast-growth.  Anyone with a caring personality can be trained to be a companion caregiver.  Apply for a senior caregiver job in your area (companies hire from 3 to 6 new caregivers each week) and refer-a-friend to a caregiving job to be entered to win $50, t-shirts, online caregiver training and more.

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