Caregiving is a high calling. At Cherished Companions, we view our role as a mission, not just a job, and we’re always looking for caregivers who share our commitment to quality compassionate care. If you share that vision, a profession in caregiving may be a good fit for you. But before you take that step, you may have questions about where to work and how to choose the right career path. Let’s start by defining the role of a caregiver.
What Is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is someone who provides assistance to senior adults or individuals with disabilities or special needs. Caregivers can work in a variety of roles, and caregiving responsibilities may range from companionship to daily care and even basic medical assistance.
Caregiving requires different levels of training depending on the type of role you choose. Not all caregivers can provide medical assistance, and many work in a non-medical role to offer assistance with routine tasks of daily living. These responsibilities may include companionship, homemaking, personal assistance, personal care, and even 24-hour live-in care.
3 Types of Caregivers: Which Type is Right for You?
Whether you hope to volunteer as a caregiver for your local hospice program or you want to pursue a career in caregiving, it helps to know the distinctions among types of caregivers and what responsibilities each type can perform:
Many people discover a love for caregiving when they volunteer to help a family member or friend. Perhaps someone you know needs extra assistance with housework, companionship, or getting to the grocery store, and you step in to help. In more formal volunteer settings such as a non-profit or hospice organization, volunteer caregivers provide help with things like meal preparation, housekeeping, and laundry, but they do not offer any physical assistance.
Non-medical professional caregivers provide a broader range of assistance which may include help with personal care, hygiene, bathing, dressing, walking, remembering to take medication, and feeding. They also provide companionship and help with basic needs around the home.
Non-medical caregivers do not need clinical training or certification. The agency they work for usually provides training as part of the employment process and should also provide oversight to be sure the care plan is optimal for the client. As an employer of non-medical caregivers, Cherished Companions seeks to employ people with a genuine love for others. We believe that the best caregivers are those who view their profession as a calling, and we use a careful evaluation process to ensure strong relationships between caregivers and clients.
Each state has different training requirements for non-medical caregivers. These requirements range from no formal training or licensing to a minimum number of training hours, required background checks, and licensing for personal care or home services. In Ohio, the Professional Association of Caregiving recommends a minimum of 8 hours of training.
Skilled caregivers are also known as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), and they must undergo clinical training. In addition to standard caregiving responsibilities, CNAs can take blood pressure readings, assist with medical equipment, and perform other basic medical tasks.
To become a skilled caregiver, you will need to complete 75 to 100 hours of clinical training as part of a CNA course and pass a state-specific competency exam which certifies you to practice in that state.
Is Cherished Companions Right for You?
If you are ready to pursue a career in caregiving, working for a caregiving agency is often the logical next step. At Cherished Companions, our mission is to provide the best possible care for every client and the best possible working environment for every caregiver. In 2018, we ranked #1 in the state of Ohio on Fortune Magazine’s list of Best Workplaces for Aging Services in the At-Home Care category, and we ranked #3 nationwide. That’s because we place the highest priority on designing a supportive, respectful work environment where employees are treated fairly.