Assisted living continues to be one of the fastest growing industries. Today, more than 835,000 Americans live in assisted living communities. But what does assisted living mean? Assisted living is a form of long term care services. They include healthcare, personal care, and housing services that are designed for individuals who require assistance in their day to day activities. They are designed such that they promote independence in individuals.
The assisted living industry has been in existence since the 1980s and has changed the entire face of homecare. It was established to ensure that individuals live comfortably and safely in assisted living communities. It entails accommodating the changing needs and preferences of individuals through assessing their needs and creating a senior care plan for them.
As aforementioned, the industry is experiencing growth. The growing demand for assisted living has, in turn, created a stream of jobs in senior care. One of the most critical roles in assisted living is that of the caregivers, or what is often termed as a State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA).
Who are Caregivers in Assisted Living?
They are professionals that give assistance to individuals with different needs. This ranges from the elderly and fragile seniors, the mentally and physically disabled and also sick individuals. They work in assisted living communities to provide assistance with daily activities to the residents.
Among the tasks that they help with include grooming, feeding, administering medication, and bathroom functions to mention a few. Currently, there are approximately 43.5 million caregivers in America. The number is expected to grow as the demand for caregiving services continues to grow. There is still more about caregivers that you need to come to terms with in order to better understand the contribution they make to the assisted living industry.
What are the Required Competencies of a Caregiver?
You might be looking to become a caregiver or to acquire caregiving services. Well, you might have a clue of what a caregiver is tasked with and their responsibilities. However, one thing may still be unclear: the skills. It is only after you understand the skills and competencies that a caregiver is expected to possess, that you will be able to establish what makes the ideal caregiver.
- Attention to Detail
This is a no-brainer. It is worth noting that the job that caregivers are tasked with is sensitive. For instance, if you are on medication, you need someone who will be able to give medication in the right dosages as prescribed by a health care practitioner. That is not all. Remember that most of the residents of assisted living communities have unique care requirements. For a caregiver to be able to cater to such needs, he or she will need to be able to follow specific rules.
Caregiving is a job that is energy intensive. Stamina is, therefore, critical. Some residents will need to be lifted to bathtubs, helped with getting on their wheelchairs and so on. A caregiver will need the strength to be able to accomplish all of that.
- Interpersonal Skills
Unlike accounting jobs where one can stay all day behind the desk without interaction, caregiving calls for interpersonal skills. Note that you will be interacting directly with people. Considering that the clients will have different needs, you need to be compassionate and sensitive. Interpersonal skills are one of the vital requirements in caregiving.
- Time Management
You will be required to give medication, make sure that the clients wake up on time for the day’s activities and so on. If you lack time management skills, you might have a hard time keeping the job. Caregivers need to be able to keep schedules.
Are there Any Academic Requirements for a Caregiver?
Some states require different forms of formal training for caregiving. As such, caregivers may be expected to attend vocational schools. Most of the training, however, is done on the job by other caregivers or nurses.
The future of caregiving is bright. The demand for caregiving services is high. However, the same cannot be said about the supply. There is a bright side to this; it means that jobs are available for caregivers, and they are growing faster than the average job. This means that there is are immense opportunities for individuals that are passionate about serving others. All you need to become a caregiver is the passion, formal training, and energy. For individuals looking to use caregiving services, you have the information you need to find the best caregiving services.