Anyone considering working as a professional caregiver for a senior home care agency, assisted living community or nursing center, must participate in a training program provided by the senior care company or complete a certified nursing aide or certified home health aide program to be qualified to provide care services.
What type of senior care training is available?
The department of health in each state regulates the certification process for nursing assistants. All states in the U.S. provide certification for nursing aides and some states also provide the additional certification for home health aides (caregivers who work only in homes) and New York state has an additional certification for pesonal care assistants.
Is certification required to work as a caregiver?
Working as a companion caregiver in the home does not require certification in most states. Some states do require caregivers who are staffed in senior's homes to be certified as a home health aide or a presonal care assistant. Senior home care agencies usually provide training for companion caregivers. Specific training for caring for seniors with memory loss, hospice and age-related diseases, such as Parkinson's Disease, can be obtained from local hospital community outreach programs and from the advocacy associations for the various diseases.
Some associations providing specialized seminars and training information for caregivers are:
You may also learn senior caregiving skills by taking nursing aide classes and practice nursing aide skills test. By reading about age-related illnesses and taking a practice exam for certified nursing aides or a sample test, you can quickly gain more caregiving skills. You may also gain caregiving skills by working as a senior caregiver for a senior home care agency and may want to apply for a position in your area to begin developing your areas of expertise.