If you are considering becoming a professional caregiver – congratulations. You’ve chosen a career where your services are in great demand and will be for many years. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day until 2026 and their parents being in their 80s or older, America’s aging population provides you with your choice of employment opportunities working with older adults for years to come.

The centerpiece of these career opportunities is the professional caregiver. According to AARP, almost 80% of seniors want to remain at home as they get older and need assistance, making caregivers an essential part of helping them age in place.

As you embark on your new career, let’s look at five things you need to consider in order to become a professional caregiver.

Confirm for yourself why you want to be a caregiver

Caregivers who have long, successful careers have a strong desire to be a caregiver. They’re motivated to help seniors enjoy their golden years and make a difference in people’s lives. Make sure you share this same commitment. You’ll need it to perform consistently at your best.

Speak with other caregivers

In addition to your training from the agency you work with, other caregivers will be your strongest source of education, motivation, and inspiration. Take the time to speak with as many as you can to get a first-hand account of what the job is like and how to enjoy the career while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Know the educational requirements

Ask agencies you’re interested in working with what their educational requirements are. Over half of all caregivers have completed no formal education beyond high school. Depending on your career goals, you may decide to pursue a postgraduate degree or certification.

Know the qualities of a great caregiver

Like any career, being a caregiver is going to have its good days and bad days. Lasting in the profession and providing superior service day in and day out regardless of how you feel takes:

  • Compassion
  • Focus
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Time management
  • Communication skills

You’ll also need to be physically fit and in good health to lift clients as needed and perform your caregiving tasks, including meal preparation, light housekeeping, and laundry.

Align yourself with a reputable, professional agency

Working with an agency committed to outstanding client care and helping you succeed will make a significant difference in your satisfaction as a caregiver. The right agency should train you, provide scheduling flexibility, pay you fairly, and support your career growth.

Finding caregiving assignments in Virginia is simple with AmeriCare Plus. Just check out our openings here and contact us to discuss specific assignments and career opportunities. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you start or continue your career journey as a professional caregiver.

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