The U.S. Department of Health estimates the average life expectancy of older Americans has increased 20 years. There are currently 50 million adults over the age of 65, and this number is expected to increase 25 percent during the next ten years. As a result, there is a growing demand for senior care health professionals. If you’re considering a career in senior care and health you might want to look at the different options available to you. It’s a great career for anyone who wants stable work in an unstable economy.
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Personal Care Aides
There are over one million personal care aides in America today. Personal care aides are not required to have any formal education, but instead receive on-the-job training. Certain states require personal care aides to complete a basic training program and pass a final exam. Personal care aides help clients with completing daily tasks and give companionship. They also assist with basic hygiene, helping clients move around, and meal preparation. Personal care aides generally work in their client’s homes, but do not perform any medical services. Personal care aides are also called caregivers or personal attendants. The Department of Labor projects a 50 percent increase in the need for personal care aides over the next 10 years.
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Home Health Aides
A high school diploma generally isn’t required for this job. However, home health aides who work for a healthcare organization that receives financial support from Medicare or Medicaid must complete basic training and pass a certification exam. Some health home aides voluntarily obtain certification through the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. A home health aide will help the ill, disabled, or cognitively delayed in their homes. They provide assistance with basic daily tasks, such as housekeeping, getting dressed, and meal preparation as well as provide routine individualized medical care such as changing bandages or checking vital signs. Home health aides work under the supervision of a licensed medical professional in a certified home or hospice. The Department of Labor projects the job growth for home health aides at 50 percent over the next 10 years.
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Nursing assistants generally work in nursing homes and provide basic care and help with daily tasks and activities for seniors. Nursing assistants perform similar duties to home health aides. Almost all states require nursing assistants to complete a state-approved training program, certification test, and on the job training. Nursing assistants often develop close relationships with their patients because they care for them for many years. Nursing assistants always work under the supervision of a LPN or RN. Being a nursing assistant is an excellent way to learn the knowledge and skills needed for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Job growth for nursing assistants is at around 20 percent for the next 10 years.
There are many excellent senior care job opportunities available with promising career potential whether you have a degree or not. They include personal care aides, home health aides, and nursing assistants. Take a look at what kind of job might be the most fulfilling for you.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.