As of 2016, there were almost 3 million caregiver jobs across the United States. That number is expected to grow exponentially over the next 8 years.
The high demand for caregivers coupled with the mild level of education necessary for the profession have made caregiving one of the hottest careers in healthcare.
Are you considering becoming a caregiver? Do you think you have what it takes to do this job on a daily basis and sometimes for extended hours?
If you're not sure or if you just want a clear and concise picture of what caregivers do, this article is for you!
Below, our team shares a streamlined caregiver job description in hopes that it will help you form a more rounded opinion of the profession.
Caregiver Job Summary
Caregivers go by many names.
Home health specialists, personal care aides, at home health assistants, and more.
No matter what name they go by though, they all perform duties centered around the same mission... The adequate and usually home-based care of seniors and other people whose disabilities prevent them from managing their own daily needs.
As a caregiver, you'll come into contact with clients who are frail, sick, and/or disabled physically or mentally. When dealing with those clients, you'll be asked to perform tasks that correlate with each person's unique limitations.
These tasks can be mild or extensive and typically focus on hygiene, dietary, medical, and transpiration needs.
Caregivers are usually not licensed medical health professionals (like nurses for example). They can, however, perform basic medical care (first aid, insulin injections, etc.) and report directly to their client's physician when necessary.
Specific Caregiver Responsibilities
As we mentioned previously, the duties you'll need to carry out will change with your client's unique needs. To give you a baseline understanding of what you may be expected to do as part of your caregiver job description, here is a list of common caregiver for in home health tasks:
Personal Care Assistance
Helping clients bathe, groom, use the restroom, and get exercise.
General Health Assistance
Keeping track of medications, doctors appointments, and administering medicine. You'll also do basic health motioning and notify your client's physician if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Shopping for groceries and preparing basic meals. Depending on your client's needs, you may need experience in preparing meals with certain dietary restrictions in mind.
Getting to and from doctor's appointments, social activities, and errands in a wheelchair accessible vehicle (if applicable).
Taking care of basic household cleaning, laundry, and organization.
Talking to your client, listening to them, and making them feel secure in their home. Emotional health and providing a much-needed social connection is one of the most important, most commonly overlooked aspects of caregiving.
Today's caregiver job description doesn't offer too much in the way of compensation.
If you're an employee working for a caregiver company, you can expect to earn around $23,000 per year. If you work on an hourly basis, most caregivers make slightly above minimum wage in their state. On average, that's about $11.00 per hour.
Still, it's important to note that caregiver compensation rises every year with demand. Given that demand is expected to skyrocket in the coming years (more on that next) becoming a caregiver represents an excellent opportunity for those who are willing to get a foothold in the industry.
Most caregiver job descriptions talk extensively about the industry's positive outlook. That's because caregiver industry growth is going to expand substantially through the year 2050.
Currently, the United States population is comprised of about 16% senior citizens. By the year 2050, that number will go all the way up to 22%.
That massive growth in the senior population means that demand and pay for caregivers are set to spike. To put that spike into a more intimidate context, from 2016 to 2026, experts have projected that as many as 1.2 million caregiver jobs will get added to the economy.
Caregiver Job Description Pros and Cons
As with all jobs, there are pros and cons to becoming a caregiver.
On the positive side, people love being a caregiver because it affords them the opportunity to help others for a living. People also enjoy the stability of the industry and its projected growth which outpaces most other professions.
As far as negatives go, the most common criticism levied against being a caregiver is the low pay. It would be hard to live alone and work as a caregiver since starting annual wages typically put people below the poverty line.
It's worth noting however that there are a lot of overtime opportunities when it comes to caregiving so that pay may help bridge applicant's income concerns.
Another negative to caregiving for some is the level of intimacy required with clients. If you don't feel comfortable bathing people or helping them to the restroom, this job isn't for you.
Wrapping Up Our Caregiver Job Description
Buying into the caregiver job description could mean getting into a field that's uncommonly stable. It could also mean long hours and substandard pay when you first start out.
Are you somebody who would find it fulfilling to help people who are unable to help themselves for a living? If so, becoming a caretaker could be the job for you.
If you're interested in making excellent money in a healthcare related profession immediately, you'll probably want to keep looking.
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