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How to Become a Caregiver in California

What Do Caregivers Do?

An in-home caregiver’s undertaking is to assist an individual with a multitude of everyday tasks that we in the industry refer to as “activities of daily living” or ADL’s and “instrumental activities of daily living” or iADL’s.

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are essential, routine tasks that most of the population as young healthy individuals are able to perform without assistance. Instrumental activities of daily living are more complex tasks that allow us to live independently on our own, such as using the telephone, shopping, preparing meals, housekeeping, using transportation, taking medication(s), and managing finances.

The inability to carry out essential activities of daily living may lead to unsafe conditions and poor quality of life, thus the ultimate objective of a caregiver is to help their client continue living independently wherever they may call home while providing necessary support.

What Are the Duties of a Caregiver?

The duties of a caregiver will differ from one situation to the next. Generally speaking, caregiver responsibilities fall within one of following categories:

  • Assisting with personal care (bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, exercise)

  • Basic food preparation (shopping, meal prep, cooking)

  • Light housekeeping (laundry, dishes, vacuum/mop)

  • Medication management (overseeing medication and prescriptions usage)

  • Transportation assistance (errands, appointments, activities)

  • Companionship

Our caregiving services are tailored to each client’s specific needs and may involve housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, compassionate companionship,and personal care.

Family members in need of respite care or individuals requiring only a few hours of assistance may have only one “primary caregiver,” whereas those individuals who require more complex care may have multiple caregivers working as a team on a rotating basis.

Individuals seeking home care may need help with duties around their home, such as cleaning, laundry, or cooking. For seniors or those with disabilities everyday tasks can sometimes feel daunting or difficult to complete. Assistance with daily chores can considerably improve a person’s ability to remain living in their home creating a happier and safer environment.

For seniors who live alone, remaining social and active can become challenging, so caregivers will often provide companionship care. Companionship care can include anything from playing a board game together to sitting down for a friendly conversation. Spending time with clients to help them maintain key social interactions not only affords a more fulfilling lifestyle but can potentially reduce the risk of dementia as well as an extensive range of physical problems, such as high blood pressure, arthritis and cardiovascular activities.

Recovery from an injury or illness can be overwhelming, especially alone. Caregivers provide healthcare and other medical services so individuals can manage or recover from their conditions more comfortably. Duties can include wound care, transportation to doctor’s appointments, and medication reminders.

Caregivers may also assist clients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease to help them create a safer and more stable environment.

As with other everyday tasks, personal care can become difficult for some individuals to complete independently. For example, a person may need help bathing or using the bathroom, and a caregiver’s assistance will allow them to remain living where they are most comfortable.

How Much Does a Caregiver Make?

Caregivers make a competitive hourly rate, which can vary depending on several factors. Level of education, area of service, caregiving experience, and specific duties all determine the specific salary of a caregiver.

What Education Level is Required to be a Caregiver?

In California, caregivers are required to undergo training to become certified for the duties they will perform, as well as pass a background check. However, to become a caregiver, a university degree is not necessary. When becoming a caregiver, your employer will inform you of the specific requirements and provide any additional training needed.

How Many Hours Can a Caregiver Work in a Day?

One of the benefits of working as a caregiver is the flexibility of your schedule. Caregivers have the ability to work part-time or full-time and often dictate the hours they would prefer to take on.

As each individual requires various levels of assistance, care can range anywhere from a few hours each day to full time 24-hour assistance.

A career as a caregiver is excellent for those looking for any level of work in a day. If you need a full-time job with opportunities for extra hours, part-time employment while you finish up school, or would just like to be otherwise employed in addition to your everyday responsibilities, caregiving may be right for you!

Why be a Caregiver?

Caregiving is an incredibly gratifying career that allows you to build a bond with the individual with whom you care for. As a caregiver, you become an integral part of an individual's daily life, providing the support that they need both physically and emotionally.

There are few careers in which you have the ability to form a family-like relationship with your clients. As a caregiver, you are able to make a genuine difference in the lives of others. It is more than just a career; caregiving is an opportunity to create connections that will mean the world to you and the individuals you are helping.

How to Apply to be a Caregiver with Home Helpers of Central Valley, CA

If you are looking to start a compassionate and rewarding career as a caregiver, apply with Home Helpers today.

To complete your application, you will first need to register to become a Home Care Aid (HCA) in California through the State of California Department of Social Services Guardian background check system. Registration will cost $35, but Home Helpers will reimburse you for this fee after you have completed 150 hours of client visits with us.

When you are done registering, you will get an HCA #. This is the beginning of your journey. Your status will say PENDING. Take a picture of this screen with your phone. You will want to keep this number handy. Once you have passed the background check via LiveScan (see below) and the system connects the two, your status will change to REGISTERED.

You will then need to have Live Scan fingerprinting done for completion of your background check, which can vary in cost from $42 to $78, depending on the location. Certain locations are appointment only, so give them a call ahead of time. It is also important to check whether the site you choose takes only cash or other forms of payment before going to your appointment.

Additionally, you are required to obtain a tuberculosis (TB) test and email a copy of your negative results to us. Your medical insurance may cover this, so check with your provider prior. We will also accept a negative TB test if it was obtained within the last 90 days.

Per State Public Health Officer Order of February 22, 2022, Home Helpers of Central Valley, CA requires its caregiving team to be fully vaccinated for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) for the safety of you as well as those you will care for. Many of the elderly, chronically ill, and disabled persons are at higher risk of contracting any infectious disease, thus we would like to do our part in helping prevent the spread of communicable disease.

Once you have completed all of these steps, we will provide initial training – both online and in-person – so that you are fully prepared to start working as a caregiver.
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