Live-in home health care aides are becoming a popular alternative to nursing homes or assisted living. Live-in home care is commonly confused with “24-hour” care which consists of multiple caregivers providing a round the clock care service, while in fact “live-in” care usually has one caregiver who provides care 24 hours, four to five days a week. This kind of care includes similar responsibilities to other home care services like personal care, assistance with daily living activities, companionship or nursing services.
As demanding as the job may sound, becoming a live-in home health care aide can be a great start to your medical career, and here are some reasons why:
Health care aides (HCA), in general, receive an average wage of $19 to $24 per hour, with the highest salary recorded at an hourly rate of $36.34, according to ALIS. With HCAs having various levels of education and work experience, the job market still continues to be very competitive.
Regardless of the competition, HCAs are in high demand as the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are “retiring at the rate of thousands per day.” In the last two years, 76 per cent of employers in Alberta have recruited HCAs while 17 per cent found it challenging to hire a suitable candidate for the job. Eleven per cent of employers, on the other hand, had unfilled vacancies for over four months.
If you are thinking of gaining an understanding of the medical field or what it could mean to be a medical professional, this may be a great starting point for your career. Although Health Care Aide training is preferred, the minimum educational requirement for HCAs is the completion of Grade 10.
As an HCA, you will learn to communicate effectively with clients and their families, coordinate home care responsibilities and can serve a wide range of clients, expanding your network. It is also an opportunity for you to collaborate with different healthcare professionals who may be present to support your clients’ medical needs.
It is never too early to specialize your medical career. Whether you choose to focus on adult care, special needs, complex medical needs of patients or pediatrics, home care can give you the opportunity to explore your options through the various clients who use this service.
At the end of the day, every home care professional has one thing in common — the reward of caring for someone in need of assistance and the ability to make a difference in somebody else’s life. From the simplest act of being present and providing attentive care to making somebody’s daily life more manageable, HCA is a rewarding and fulfilling profession that can jump-start your career.