As a PAL you will not only be assisting others but helping yourself as well. I found each day to be a treasure, an adventure as I helped others along on this journey we share. So many wonderful things await you when you chose to reach out and help others. So let’s talk about how you get started.
Within the following links you will find steps we suggest if you want to become a Professional Independent Caregiver. As well as drawing from our own experience we will provide you with links to information you will find essential as you work your way to a caregiving career.
Start by analyzing yourself.
Just what do I mean by that? Take some time to read about caregiving. If you are new to the journey I suggest you Google some articles on caregiving and read on some of the forums to help you understand what you are about to embark on. Being a caregiver can be a stressful job, however at the same time it can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. I can say that because I am both a family and a professional caregiver and the rewards outweigh the stress in this caregivers opinion. Also, being a caregiver for someone else’s family member is very different than being a caregiver for your own family member.
As a private, professional caregiver you will not only be making a difference in the lives of your clients, you will also be making a significant difference in the lives of the families of your client as well. Many of the family members may have been trying to provide care for their loved one on their own, which can be extremely stressful and exhausting, especially if their loved one needs 24/7 care. The family members may be suffering from burn out and in great need of respite. You will be that respite.
In order to be a good caregiver you must be patient and like working with the elderly. A great way to see if you would be suited for caregiving would be to volunteer at a local nursing home, senior center or for someone you know that needs to help. And a hands on look at the profession can be invaluable to you when making your decision. Once you have made the decision to move forward and become a PAL (Personal Assistant for Living) here are some tools to help you do so.
Begin to build your resume with training.
Every caregiver should take and pass a CPR class. I suggest a hands on CPR class, many of which are available at local fire stations, universities, senior centers and the like. You can do a search in your area for local classes. These classes are very inexpensive and you will become certified – a big plus on that resume’ of yours. There are also online CPR classes if you prefer.
You could check out this link The American Red Cross website: First Aid/CPR/AED
Also here is a link to the American Heart Association sites CPR and First Aid Training, with a course finder tool. Online AHA Training
The above links to the Red Cross and American Heart Association sites are for online as well and class room courses. They include handy search fields so you can find a class near you with schedules. Having a certification from either of these World Class organizations will be a valuable asset for you.
Dementia Care Training
Dementia is one illness that most caregivers will run into in the course of their career. It is now estimated that millions Americans now have some form of dementia, Alzheimer’s being the most common type. That being the case you will not doubt care for someone suffering from this disease. Understanding how this disease affects people is a critical of your being able to care for them. To better help you understand this disease the Alzheimer’s Association has developed two online training courses for caregivers .These courses comes with a certificate upon completion and will serve as another critical piece of your resume.
Online Care Training & essentiALZ® Certification
These are two course programs and can be found at this link on the alz.org website
The courses are not expensive and will give you much needed training right from your computer.