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Elderly care jobs express significant range in training, scope, places of employment and duties performed. They may be taken up by people with little training or have specific education requirements that take a very long time to complete. Job availability in elder care tends to be fairly high, given the number of people who are living longer but may require a small amount to significant support as they age.
Some of the top rung elderly care jobs are offered to medical professionals. Doctors may specialize in diseases of the elderly. They are called geriatricians or may be referred to as specialists in geriatrics. Though not every elderly person needs to see a geriatrician, many people benefit from the expertise of these doctors, just as children may get more specified care when they see pediatricians. Geriatricians might work in convalescent or assistant living homes, or they could alternately have a private practice or work in standard hospitals.
Registered nurses, especially those specializing in geriatric medicine, and licensed practical nurses can also find many elderly care jobs. Some of these are in convalescent hospitals that are designed to meet needs of the elderly, and others may be in facilities that mostly treat older patients. Nurses also take hospice jobs that work with patients who are dying, and many of these may be people of advanced age. They may work as caregivers too, especially for people who have medical and other care needs at the same time.
Certified nurse assistants (CNAs) can find a number of elderly care jobs. Again, there is work in convalescent hospitals, day care facilities or assistant living facilities. CNAs frequently use their training to become home health care assistants or to be vital members of care teams in a variety of long-term facilities, respite care employment, or fully staffed senior care centers.
Home health assistants also take up many jobs of the type CNAs might hold. In particular, home health aides mostly provide care and services in the home setting. They may do this on a part time basis while primary family members work, or they could provide round the clock care. Emphasis would be less on medical care and more on fulfilling basic care requirements.
Other types of elderly care jobs are available in any form of facility that treats senior citizens. A number of therapists, physical and occupational, may design programs for seniors to help them maintain or recover a certain amount of function. In assisted living homes and convalescent homes, people might take on the job of activities director and plan ways to keep seniors engaged and interested in daily living. Private or small and large facilities need to handle the issue of food preparation too, and good cooking skills are needed for caregivers or in facilities where large amounts of seniors must be fed.
It’s not always possible to specify exact training or licensing required to enter into some of these fields. This tends to vary by region. Some people won’t need much training to start in elder care jobs and others might have to complete several years of schooling and get a license before beginning.
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