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How to Work With Elderly Patients: The Top 4 Jobs in Caring for the Elderly at Home

elderly man looking at the camera

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


July 26th, 2021

Right now is a great time to look into jobs to take care of seniors in Charlottesville, VA, and other cities around the nation. Many home care companies and geriatric medical facilities need compassionate, hard-working employees.

If you’re looking for a fulfilling and rewarding career opportunity to help people, we think you should explore careers working with seniors

The senior care industry always needs reliable and patient people to help the elderly community thrive. No matter your skills, you can put them to great use by working jobs in caring for the elderly at home.

In this guide, we’re going to provide you with valuable information on how to work with elderly patients. We’ll share some of the benefits of working with the elderly, followed by a list of careers working with the elderly.

Keep reading to learn more about jobs working with geriatrics.


The Benefits of Working With the Elderly

Before we share a list of careers working with the elderly, we thought we’d mention a few of the benefits of working with seniors.

Here are three reasons jobs working with seniors are a worthwhile career option


1. Availability and Security

First, careers working with seniors provide job availability and job security. 

A recent PHI report suggests that the home care workforce will add more than one million jobs between 2018 and 2028. Additionally, demographic experts believe that the number of seniors aged 65+ will rise from 90 million by 2050. These adults aged 65+ want to age in place but often need hands-on help to do so—assistance that family members can’t always provide.

What do all these facts add up to? Jobs to help the elderly at home are currently available and are projected to be in need for the foreseeable future.


2. Fulfilling and Rewarding

Secondly, jobs in caring for the elderly at home are fulfilling and rewarding. 

We mentioned above that aging adults desire to age in the comfort of their homes. But as they age, they often face physical or mental decline that impedes their ability to live independently. Since they can’t live independently, aging adults’ family members either take on the burden of care or look into alternative living options, like a nursing home.

However, these two options aren’t always preferable because they’ll either:

  • Cause family caregivers to become stressed or burned out from providing care
  • Displace elderly adults into a new living situation that’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable

As a professional in-home caregiver, you’ll alleviate family caregiver stress and provide seniors with the ability to live at home. Your care services will:

  • Increase the quality of life for aging adults 
  • Allow family caregivers to enjoy time with their aging loved ones better

The bottom line is that you’ll provide valuable help to family caregivers and aging seniors.


3. Flexible and High-paying

Lastly, there’s a large amount of flexibility in elderly care jobs, and many high-paying jobs working with the elderly exist. 

Some careers working with seniors allow you to work in a hospital or eldercare facility. Others provide you with the ability to pick and choose when and how many hours you want to work.

Many geriatric job opportunities are available to individuals without a college degree or previous work experience. Commonwise Home Care in Charlottesville, VA, employs and professionally trains in-home caregivers with little or no caregiving experience. It also provides some of the highest wages in the home care industry and allows its caregivers to choose their work schedules.

Other jobs working with seniors exist that require college- and masters-level training. These positions provide greater pay rates and allow the individual to work in a wide variety of care settings. 

Now that we’ve mentioned some of the benefits of working with the elderly, we’ll share some specific jobs in caring for the elderly at home.


The Top 4 Jobs to Take Care of Seniors


1. In-home Caregiver

One of the best and most available careers working with seniors is as an in-home caregiver.

In-home caregivers enter into a client’s home to assist with daily tasks and activities. These home care professionals have extensive training in companionship, personal care, and advanced care.

Professional caregivers can work as little as 4 hours each week in a respite care role, or they can work as much as 8-12 hours a day multiple days per week.  

As a companion or personal caregiver, duties often include:

  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Meal prep 
  • Transportation services
  • Bill pay

More advanced care might consist of:

  • Ambulation and transfers
  • Incontinence support
  • Memory care
  • Bathing and dressing

A caregiver’s primary responsibility is to provide excellent, quality care to their clients.

If you’re interested in becoming an in-home caregiver, you can usually find a local home care company and apply through their website. There are no degrees or certifications necessary, and some companies don’t require any previous caregiving experience.


2. Certified Nursing Assistant 

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a career option that allows you to work as an in-home caregiver or assistant to a medical provider in a medical facility. They often assist nurses or other medical professionals in providing care to patients.

To become a CNA, you need to:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Attend a CNA training program
  • Pass a CNA certification exam

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) caregiver performs many of the same tasks as a home caregiver, except that they have more extensive medical training. The exact duties depend on the work setting, with home care responsibilities differing from medical facility roles.


3. Geriatric Physical Therapist

For those interested in a career that helps seniors overcome mobility issues or recover from surgery, geriatric physical therapy may be the career for you

Becoming a geriatric physical therapist (PT) requires much more training and schooling than an in-home caregiver or CNA. Geriatric PTs must first receive a college degree and then graduate from a doctoral physical therapy program. Getting a college degree usually requires four years, and most PT programs are three years long.

But once you finish all your schooling and training, you’ll have the opportunity to help elderly adults maintain their mobility so they can still enjoy their lives. You’ll work closely with your patients, creating personalized therapy programs to help them work toward achievable goals.

Some geriatric PTs work in a PT clinic, others provide in-home services to elderly adults, and some offer office and at-home PT services. 


4. Patient Advocate

Patient advocacy is a new and emerging career field for those who like working on behalf of elderly adults. They have the desire to help aging adults better understand the:

  • The medical system
  • Medical insurance and benefits
  • Care options

The medical system is difficult to navigate, especially for aging adults. They need help communicating with their doctors, insurance company, and family. Patients advocates act as a voice for aging adults to ensure seniors:

  • Aren’t taken advantage
  • Receive the care they need
  • Understand diagnoses and available treatments

There isn’t any formal training necessary to become a patient advocate. However, it does require an understanding of the medical world and all its components, and there’s an official certification available for those who want it.


Apply for Jobs in Caring for the Elderly at Home Today

The senior care industry always needs reliable people, and there are plenty of available jobs to take care of seniors. Jobs working with seniors are an excellent option for anyone who desires:

  • An available and secure job
  • A fulfilling and rewarding career
  • A flexible and high-paying job

But with so many senior care job options, it can be tough to know which job is right for you. A few of the jobs working with geriatrics include:

  • In-home caregiver
  • Certified nursing assistant
  • Geriatric physical therapist
  • Patient advocate

Whether you’re looking for jobs to take care of seniors that require a college degree or not, there’s something out there for you. 

At Commonwise Home Care, we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing the highest quality in-home care to elderly adults—and it starts and ends with our caregivers. Each of our caregivers receives:

  • Comprehensive training
  • Generous pay
  • Ongoing support

We care deeply about our caregivers and ensure they’re treated well and given opportunities to grow in their careers.

Apply to work at Commonwise today and start your journey toward a more enjoyable, fulfilling career.