Take the Quiz: Is Caregiving the Right Profession for You?
As the “Boomer” generation ages and begins to move into their golden years, the area of home care is expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. job market. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting the home care industry to grow by nearly 70%, or 1.3 million jobs, in the next two years! That’s compared to a 14% average growth for the rest of the labor force.
If this kind of job security sounds appealing to you, the next logical question is, “Is professional caregiving the right field for me?” Read through the short quiz below to see if you have what it takes to join the growing field of home caregivers.
1. Are you flexible?
Home caregivers can be a wonderful asset for aging adults who are seeking to continue living independently but need help with certain aspects of daily life. The optimal word here is “independently.” These adults may need help getting to the store, making dinner, or help with aspects of personal care, but they are proud to remain in their home and do many things the way they always have. Therefore, it is important that home caregivers are flexible and attentive to their client’s schedules, routines, and preferences.
2. Do you have a sense of humor?
The loss of certain aspects of independence is one of the hardest parts of aging. Not being able to make dinner for yourself, finish buttoning your shirt, or drive yourself to the doctor can be everyday reminders for the elderly of the changes and losses that they are experiencing during this stage of life. But nothing can help ease these reminders like finding the humor in the little things, and reminding the client that they aren’t alone.
3. Do people tell you that you’re a good listener?
From popular culture to folk tales, the elderly are either keepers of sage wisdom or masters of hilarious, yet poignant tales. And there is a reason for that. The elderly have been through every stage of life, they’ve seen how the world got to where it is, and they have the stories to prove it. While the home caregiver has a demanding job comprised of multiple tasks, one of the most important jobs is listening. For many clients, the home caregiver is the most consistent face that they see during a week and sometimes, the only understanding ear. Whether a client wants to share about the wonderful feeling they got from helping someone or to recount and remember something from their past, your ability to listen and connect can really make a difference.
4. Do you get bored doing the same thing each day?
Being a home caregiver can be an adventure! While many portions of your day may be spent doing scheduled daily or weekly tasks, you’re working with a wonderfully complex human being. And this tends to make even the most mundane tasks anything but boring. (In fact, go back and make sure that you can answer “yes” to the question #2.) Tasks for the caregiver can also vary from day to day, and many caregivers work with multiple clients, which keeps things new and exciting each day.
5. Are you compassionate?
This one is a hard one to quantify, and this goes beyond just being good with people or making friends easily. The caregiver-client relationship can be very complex. The caregiver is sometimes the primary human connection for the elderly client as they enter into the last unknown chapters of life. This time can be difficult, confusing, or scary for a client, and the caregiver is a consistent human source of help, care, and compassion. You will laugh and you will cry. But if client-focused, you will help give dignity and clarity to each day for your client.
If you answered “yes” to these questions, and if an in-demand career sounds appealing, then the home care industry might be right for you. Don’t wait, apply with Visiting Angels today at www.visitingangels.com/eastcentralin/employment!