Personal Care Aides help people with activities of daily living in their home or in an institution. A family might hire a PCA to keep their loved one from having to go into a nursing home. Other titles for this job position are caretaker, caregiver, CHHA, PCA, HHA, CG, CNA, and housekeeper. Residents who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, cancer, mental illness, cognitive impairment, developmental disabilities, Parkinson’s, and dementia need assistance to get dressed, eat and clean the house. Aides do not perform anything medically related the way that a Home Health Aide can. Read on to learn about the required qualifications and the job description.
A high school diploma
1 year experience
Be a licensed driver
Pass a criminal background check
Pass a drug test
Read, write and speak English
Have a working cell phone
CNA and HHA certifications are a plus.
CPR and First Aid training
Physical and TB tests
Formal training depending on the State
The home care worker follows the individualized care plan for each client. The PCA may provide companionship. Sometimes this is all a person who is home alone needs. The aide would take walks and play games with patient. Other times, the aide will prepare and feed meals. Light housekeeping such as vacuuming, laundry, washing dishes, and dusting are often required. The client might need help with medication reminders, bathing, dressing, toileting, skin care, transportation, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, managing bills, mobility, transferring into and out of bed or chairs, and incontinence care. The personal care aide might work for several people in one day or just with one person. The worker can be assigned to different shifts, including weekends and overnights, 12 hour shifts and 24 hour shifts. Although a full time position may come with great benefits, the pay is generally low at around $10 per hour.
This job can be easy or it can be tough depending on the client. With this position comes the risk of physical injury due to lifting or due to violent consumers. Furthermore, there is always the risk of infection when working with people.
If you are looking for a night job, a personal care aide position fits the bill. How do you find this job? Many home care agencies advertise online. You can also do a Google search for home health care agencies in your town and contact them directly. Some home care agencies will provide training, paid holidays, medical insurance and flexible schedules. As our population of elderly increases, there is a demand for PCAs now and will be in the future. This is a great job to use as a stepping stone into a better paying healthcare job.