As baby boomers many of us are care givers for family members. This is an insightful article from James O. Armstrong.
Following is part one of an interview with Phyllis Slater, owner of Slater Solutions LLC. Ms. Slater has devoted years to providing coaching and concierge services to the working caregiver and aging parent. Visit Phyllis Slater’s website at EldercareConcierge.Blogspot.com.
Q. Why did you become a caregiver?
A. At 23 years of age my first husband became ill at the same time I became pregnant. I was to become a caregiver to two people. This challenge has made me sensitive to the stress of being a caregiver. There was a limited support system available at that time. Today, the best support systems are for those who are low income.
Q. Where does a person go to become a caregiver?
A. Check with the Area Agency on Aging or government aging services. They can provide information about which jobs require certification, bonding, and extensive training. Non-medical in-home care requires very little schooling.
Q. Are there classes that people take?
A. Colleges offer courses for a variety of caregiving careers. Hospitals have their classes and requirements. The Internet is a great source of research for this. However, decide what area you would enjoy working in and contact the appropriate companies in that field to see what they require.
Check out Center for Caregiver Training at Caregiving101.org. And, there is Educational Resources for the Family and Professional Caregiver at Medifecta.com. I have never used them, so it would be up to individuals to learn more.
Q. What is the income for the professional caregiver?
A. It depends on the field of caregiving that is desired. An in-home care worker earns between $15 to $21 dollars an hour. Many times they work for a client only four hours a day or once a week. In-home care companies usually do not provide health coverage but pay for the bonding and background checks. Each state has a different law about this. Naturally, an insurance specialist, lawyer, and financial planner can earn whatever the market allows.
Q. Where can a family caregiver get funds to pay for professional services?
* Reverse Mortgages
* Long Term Care Insurance
* Financial Planning
Some Senior Centers have volunteers to assist with non-medical care.
Q. Tell us about you.
A. Eight years ago, I left 25 years of working as an administrative assistant and word processor for Human Resources, to start my own business. I was concerned about the challenges of the working caregiver generation. They will face situations our parents did not.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a vision challenge that to date has no cure and am considered legally blind. To date I remain independent and able to assist others outside of the home. However, planning for the future, I had adjusted how to assist others by offering on-line support 24/7 anywhere in the United States.
The key is to face reality and make changes before needing to. I refuse to give up my passion to make life easier for the working caregiver and praise their efforts. My first step was to write a book [CALMING THE CHAOS: Life Raft for the Working Caregiver] to be used as a tool only. It talks about all the information you will learn during this interview in an easy to read, large print guide. Once a caregiver understands what services to look for and why, the next step is finding a professional caregiver.