Professional Caregiver Job Skills

Working as a professional caregiver requires understanding how to maintain quality standards in delivering care while providing consistent behaviors.  If you are exploring becoming a professional caregiver, you may apply for a part-time or full-time caregiving position on (professional senior care companies subscribe to Caregiverlist’s hiring tools and hire new caregivers each week).

Completing your job duties as expected is part of behaving professionally, along with the following:

  • Following Plan of Care
  • Documenting Daily Activities
  • Reliable Schedule
  • Pleasant Attitude
  • Efficient Systems
  • Commitment to Following Directions
  • Productive Work Ethic
  • Friendly Enthusiasm
  • Dependability
  • Pleasant Cooperation When Confronted
  • Helpfulness


Professional caregivers will be trained to dress appropriately and follow all company policies and interact with senior clients with consistent kindness.


Understand that the major component of professional behavior is behaving with an even temperament, even when others may not.  Remember that communicating calmly is always the best approach if someone is behaving in a difficult manner.


Caregivers should also always perform their duties with a happy attitude, as this helps the senior client also feel more relaxed and accepting of caregiving.


Professional caregivers also coach and encourage senior clients and are mindful to be aware of changes in physical or emotional conditions of the client.  Respect and confidentiality are also part of professionalism.  By following the specific job duties, with a positive attitude, appropriate dress and caring personality, you will deliver professionalism to your senior clients every day.


Professional caregivers often have obtained formal training, such as through the 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training.  You may view the skills taught in the Caregiver Certification course and purchase the training to obtain certification for just $49 (and you will receive a t-shirt and lapel pin).


You may also want to explore becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant and research C.N.A. schools near you and apply for a caregiving job at a professional senior care company to gain experience.


For Information on Care Homes:

Senior Care Options: Nursing Home Costs and Ratings for Medicare and Medicaid Insurance

Seniors in the U.S.A. qualify for the government senior health insurance programs once they turn 65-years-old.  At this age, they must sign-up for either  Medicare or Medicaid.  Medicaid is the option for very low-income seniors with few financial assets.  The benefits are different for each of these insurance programs and Medicaid is provided in partnership with the federal government and each state government.


Medicare will be the option for most seniors and provides adequate insurance coverage for doctor’s visits, hospital stays and rehabilitation care in a nursing home.


Very low-income seniors will receive Medicaid insurance instead of Medicare.  Each state creates their own Medicaid program and this means the financial requirements and benefits will vary slightly in each state.  Overall, assets owned must be very low to qualify for Medicaid insurance as a senior.


Nursing home care has become an extension of hospital care for seniors.  After a stroke or hip replacement, for instance, Medicare insurance will pay for some rehabilitation in a nursing home.  Medical doctor preapproval is required for Medicare to pay for a nursing home stay, with benefits available for up to a 100 day stay.  Medicare will pay for the first 20 days of a nursing home stay after a qualifying hospital stay (minimum 3 days in a hospital).


Medicaid, as a state and federal program, will pay most nursing home costs for those who qualify as low-income seniors with assets of less than $2,000 (asset amount varies slightly in each state and you can review the Medicaid qualifications in your state on Caregiverlist).


As nursing homes can cost from $100 to $400 per day, seniors who will require long-term nursing home care will often “spend down” their financial assets and then qualify for Medicaid health insurance.  Nursing home stays are fully paid for by Medicaid, for as long as the nursing care is needed (this is why some seniors with progressive age-related illnesses will opt to spend-down their assets and go onto Medicaid, which will pay for ongoing residency at a nursing home).


Long-term care insurance is another option, if a senior has purchased a long-term care insurance policy.  Veterans of certain wars do qualify for Veteran’s Aid & Attendance home care and veteran’s retirement care nursing homes.  If you are not a veteran and do not have long-term care insurance, then you must privately pay for your senior care, until you spend-down your financial assets and qualify for Medicaid.


Seniors who choose to move to an assisted living community or stay in their home may hire a private duty senior caregiver through a licensed senior home care agency.  Private duty caregivers will cost between $16 and $25 per hour and $180 to $300 per day for 24-hour live-in care, depending on where you live (metropolitan cities have higher costs of living than rural areas).  Senior home care agencies provide training, payroll taxes, insurances, benefits and active care management for the senior caregiver.


Research the nursing homes in your area before you need them.  Understand the daily nursing home costs for private and shared rooms and their ratings from their health inspection reports.  Some nursing homes will not accept a new resident who is on Medicaid, but if you enter the nursing home paying privately and spend down your assets, they will allow you to stay as a Medicaid resident.


Understand which nursing homes accept Medicare and Medicaid and know your preferred choice should the need arise suddenly, which is often the situation.  Nursing homes usually are not a preferred choice for senior care, but some of the more modern nursing homes do offer quality services and comfortable accommodations.  Ad Medicare and Medicaid will pay for rehabilitation in a nursing home, you should plan ahead the same way that you would when choosing a college.  Research the options, visit their facilities and understand the services offered.  This way, if the time arises when you will need nursing home care, your family members and medical doctor will know your senior care preference and you will not have the added stress of making a last-minute choice.  Nursing home accommodations vary widely, which is another reason to research the options before you need the services.


This was a guest post by Caregiverlist, which provides the only resource with the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide and provides easy-to-understand star-ratings to make the research process easy for seniors and their family members.


For Information on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living:

3 Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Home Health Aide

Choosing home health care services is often more complicated than it needs to be. To make sure that a home health care agency can provide the best service, it is important to look into the company itself, which is why patients and their families check for state licensing, government accreditation, Medicare health and safety certification, and references before selecting an agency to work with.

How do you select a home health care aide once you’ve selected a home health care agency? The easiest way to choose a home health aide is to consider these 3 key things before making a choice.

1. Your Home Health Aide’s Personality

Matching the personality of a patient with the personality of an aide is crucial when you choose home health assistance. Personality type plays the biggest role in the patient-client relationship. The world’s best-trained aide and the world’s most compliant patient may not have success because their personalities clash. Home health aides are only successful at care-giving when a combination of trust and emotional balance exists between caregiver and client.

When choosing a home health aide, take time to watch the patient’s reaction to the aide and the aide’s interaction with the patient on a personal level in addition to his or her medical expertise.

2. Your Home Health Aide’s Professional Qualifications

If a caregiver and patient have good rapport, the next important part of choosing a home health aide is selecting an aide that you feel is fully qualified. An aide’s qualification to work with a client depends on three factors: experience, knowledge, and presentation. Experience refers to the patients and households the aide has previous experience with. An aide’s knowledge refers to training with specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s, cancer, dementia, or other conditions unique to the patient you are hoping to pair him or her with. Experience using necessary medical equipment in the home is an important gauge of an aide’s qualifications as well. The word presentation refers to how the aide carries him or herself, people skills, and patience with the client.

3. Your Home Health Aide’s Communication Skills

A successful relationship between a home health aide and a patient depends on a personality match, the aide’s qualifications, and the communication between the aide, the patient, and the family. Home health aides are trained to communicate with clients and families, but this communication requires the participation of the caregiver, the patient and family.

It cannot be stressed enough that what works for one home health aide with one patient may not work for the next, so it’s important to dedicate enough time and care to interviewing your home health aide candidates to ensure that you make the right choice for everyone involved. By keeping these three tips in mind as you search, you’re sure to find a home health aide that can not only help the patient to feel comfortable remaining at home during an illness, but help family, friends and other caregivers to feel reassured and relieve some of the stress that inherently accompanies caring for a loved one that needs day-to-day assistance.

For Information on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living:

Announcing the 2012 ALTY Blog Awards

Welcome to the first annual Assisted Living Today Blog Awards, aka The ALTY Awards!

best senior living and senior care blog postsThe ALTY Awards is our annual blog awards event that will honor the best articles and blog posts from across the assisted living and senior care industry from the previous calendar year.The way the ALTYs work is our committee of writers from the senior care industry has nominated the best articles they found from across the senior care and senior housing niches and you, the public and our readers, can vote for your favorites. Winning articles will be determined by the greatest number of votes.

This year, we’ve nominated more than forty different blogs posts from eight categories. To see which blog posts have been nominated (and to vote for your favorites), just click the category links below:

If you were nominated for an ALTY Award, you can show off your achievement with a custom badge:

NOTE: All voting will close on Wednesday, March 14 and winners will be announced on Thursday, March 15.

So please help us make the first ALTY Awards a big success. Spread the word to everyone in the senior care and senior housing industry. And be sure to vote for your favorite posts!

For Information on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living:

Senior Site Spotlight: 55+ Magazine

This week’s senior spotlight is on “55+ Magazine,” South Florida’s preferred free bilingual senior magazine. 55 Plus Magazine offers a full directory of community resource organizations, hospital and hospices, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, home care, adult day care and other services in Southeastern Florida.

55+ Magazine, which is published in print on a quarterly basis, also offers articles that focus on the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of seniors, baby boomers, and caretakers – including those in the Spanish-speaking and LGBT communities.

The site also offers books, games, and videos and music for activity directors, recreation and creative arts therapists, occupational and rehab therapists, and other caregivers who work with the elderly and/or senior adults — as well as many other products.