*The following article was contributed by Andy C. Andy has been working in the aged care industry for several years, specialising in mobility aids for the elderly. Andy enjoys blogging about issues in the industry. When he is not blogging, Andy loves spending time with his family.
The demand for home health care for the elderly is on the rise. If you are enthusiastic about helping people and caring for others, then this high demand means you will rarely be out of work.
If you want to become a home carer you should start by signing up with an agency. You can also set up as a freelance carer, however this is more risky. An agency will take care of pay, risk assessments, training etc… There are many agencies across the world, which will offer you plenty of options. They will also, with knowledge of your experience, arrange assignments for you and provide opportunities to advance.
There are two main options if you want to become a home carer: Live-in or visiting. A live-in home carer will stay with one person permanently allowing them to remain in their own home rather than a care home. Visiting care involves short visits for a number of people. During these visits you might help someone get ready for their day, help around the house, or even just provide companionship. Whether you are Live-in or Visiting, you will often be providing respite care so the family can take a break or holiday from full time care so part of your job may involve taking the person out of the house to enjoy a film or see friends.
Home care work usually involves training through an agency course or on the job training by other workers so the educational requirements are minimal. There are courses on offer however if you want to give yourself an advantage or you can train to be a home care or vocational nurse which requires more study. Knowledge of the welfare system and the medical challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer’s that face elderly people will also be an advantage.
Good health and physical strength will be important to become a home carer. Elderly people are often more susceptible to diseases such as colds in the winter so you want to avoid bringing any extra dangers into their life. Strength is important as many old people have limited mobility and need physical support to get around. Being pleasant and patient is however perhaps the most important skill for a home carer especially if people have dementia or Alzheimer’s they may be inclined to lash out. As a home carer you need to be able to see past this and to provide care even in the most difficult circumstances. If you intend to become a home carer you will also have to have a driving licence in order to get from assignment to assignment.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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