Have you been thinking about becoming a caregiver, but not sure what it’s all about? Being a professional caregiver can be one of the most rewarding jobs out there. The work can be challenging, but for many professional caregivers, the benefits far outweigh the occasional difficulties they experience. Keep reading to learn ten reasons why you should consider starting a career in caregiving, plus how to get started!
- You’ll make an impact – Perhaps the most important reason is that you’ll be able to make a tangible impact in the lives of people who need you. Most seniors are incredibly appreciative of their caregiver’s help and enjoy having them around. Seeing the smile on their face and knowing you are making a difference is a huge benefit of this work!
- It’s very fulfilling work – Caregiving makes an impact on others, but that, in turn, helps YOU. Caring for those who can’t care for themselves is something you can feel great about. Such a big portion of our lives is spent at work, so finding meaning and feeling good about it is a big factor in how fulfilled you feel.
In fact, research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that 90% of people say they’d take less money to do more meaningful work. And there may be other benefits besides the feeling of fulfillment. People who say their work is meaningful report greater mental health and life satisfaction as well as a more positive outlook. Meaningful work may also help reduce the negative impacts of stress (via American Psychological Association).
- It could be good for your health – On top of mental health benefits, there may be physical health benefits associated with the day-to-day activities of caregiving. A recent Heathline article listed ten health conditions linked to a sedentary lifestyle (like having an office or computer-based job), including heart disease, increased risk of cancer and diabetes, and depression. Most caregivers are active throughout the day, whether that’s taking clients out for a walk, doing light housekeeping, or grocery shopping – just to name a few. In a way, caregivers get paid to maintain and improve their health!
- Flexibility & freedom – Working with an in-home care agency can be a bit like working for yourself, but without having to deal with the taxes and insurance that come with self-employment. You’ll most likely be able to dictate your availability and choose the shifts you want. That means you can pick up extra shifts when you need them, or scale back if something in your life changes. This can be a great benefit for those with kids or for students who are juggling a school schedule while trying to work.
- You’ll get to work in different environments – Being a caregiver can be a great option for those who don’t like being stuck at a desk or behind a computer. The environment can change often (especially if you work with more than one client), and you’re often running errands or providing transportation outside of the house. Oftentimes, clients will need to walk in order to stay active, which means you may get to spend time outdoors, too. Caregiving is rarely the same two days in a row, so if you like variety this may be the job for you.
- Making new connections and building relationships – Caregiving provides some great opportunities to meet new people and make connections you might never have made. It’s a very personal thing to care for another person, and a good in-home care agency takes great care in matching up caregivers to clients who have similar personalities and interests. That increases the chances for bonds and friendships to form, which makes the work that much more satisfying. Many caregivers even become an honorary part of the family.
- It can be fun! – How does getting paid to chat, play games, and do arts & crafts sound? That’s part of a caregiver’s job! Companionship and keeping seniors’ minds active with activities are a few things most caregivers will do for their clients. And while it’s not all fun and games, if the in-home care agency did a good job of matching, simply spending time with your client can be enjoyable.
- You’ll get paid to learn – If you work for an in-home care agency, education is a big part of the job. Seniors face many different challenges and it’s important that caregivers are continually learning how to address them. Agencies not only provide training to become a successful caregiver, but some (like Sequoia Senior Solutions!) offer continuing education opportunities – and raises and bonuses to go with it! So not only are you paid to learn, but you’re also rewarded for it.
- You don’t need formal experience – While previous experience as a professional caregiver can certainly be helpful, many in-home care agencies provide on-the-job training for the right candidates. So if you’ve been a caregiver to a friend or family member (even if you weren’t paid), you’re a viable candidate for a professional caregiving job.
Another bonus is that it can be a great way to get started in the health care field and see if it’s a good fit for you. Many in-home caregivers go on to get their CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certifications or pursue degrees because they enjoy the work so much.
- It’s a job in high demand (and not going away anytime soon!) – As the population ages, in-home caregivers will be in more demand than ever. Home Healthcare News recently published data that showed that almost 5 million in-home care job vacancies will need to be filled before 2028. Training to be a caregiver means you won’t have to worry about finding work in the future!
There are many benefits to becoming a professional caregiver, but it’s not a fit for everyone. Those that enjoy the job and are successful at it tend to enjoy working with people and are patient and compassionate.
Does that sound like you? If so, we’d love to meet you! You can learn more about the day-to-day and what it takes to be a great caregiver here. And get in touch if you’re ready to get started. You can also hear directly from caregivers in our Caregiver Spotlight series to see what it’s all about.
- 9 Out of 10 People Are Willing to Earn Less Money to Do More-Meaningful Work – Harvard Business Review
- Important, Worthwhile and Valuable Employment – American Psychological Association
- 10 Things That Happen When You Sit Down All Day – Healthline
- Demand for Home Caregiver Jobs Continues to Surge – Home Healthcare News