How do you become a companion caregiver for the elderly?


Quick Answer

Becoming a companion caregiver for the elderly typically does not require special certification, licenses or even a high school diploma. Caregivers are trained by their employer in emergency and safety measures such as CPR and are expected to be able to cook to meet their client's dietary restrictions. They are also required to have their own mode of transportation.

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Full Answer

While special certifications are not necessary, some are available to those who wish to become a companion caregiver for the elderly. The American Red Cross's Family Caregiving Program teaches home safety tips, appropriate ways to help with personal care, the fundamentals of healthy eating, and caring for those who are stricken with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice awards Homemaker/Home Care Aid certification to in-home caregivers who complete the 75-hour curriculum, pass skills demonstration tests and pass a written test.

The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses provides certification on many levels. While most certifications require some kind of nursing license, caregivers can achieve a Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant certification if they have completed at least 2,000 hours of nursing assistance while being supervised by a registered nurse. The total cost of the certification courses is around $180 as of 2015, but once earned, the certification is valid for four years. Renewing the certification costs around $155.

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