Looking for a new career? Becoming a private caregiver could be a great option.
Private caregivers provide non-medical assistance to people living in their own homes. The help you give allows patients of all ages and abilities to live or recover in the space where they feel most comfortable. On any given day, you might:
- Help with personal care (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.)
- Perform light housework
- Prepare meals
- Remind patients when to take their medication (and check that they are taking the right dosage)
- Provide companionship to housebound patients
- Run errands or transport patients to and from appointments
As you can see, caregiving is a varied role where no two days are exactly alike.
Why be a caregiver?
There are many reasons why people decide to become a caregiver. Here are six of the most common ones:
1. Employment prospects are great.
Becoming a private caregiver could be a wise career move. The demand for in-home healthcare is rising. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts job growth of 33% for personal care and home health aides between 2020 and 2030. This is much faster than the average growth predicted for all occupations (8%), creating over 1.12 million jobs in the home healthcare field.
California, New York, and Texas currently have the highest employment rates for these roles. However, demand is growing in most parts of the country as the Baby Boomer generation gets older. Parts of Oregon, New Mexico, and Michigan also have high employment rates.
2. It’s a rewarding career option.
One of the big benefits of being a caregiver is how rewarding the work can be. The impact you make on a patient’s life might be seen right away. You play a large part in helping them stay independent and healthy while remaining in their own homes. This is often life-changing for patients and can positively impact their physical and mental health.
Your work can also make a difference in the lives of a patient’s family. Caring for a loved one is sometimes difficult. As a private caregiver, you can give family members time off to recharge and look after their own wellbeing. You also provide them with important peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is in good hands when they can’t be there themselves.
3. You can meet interesting people.
Many people become caregivers because they enjoy spending time with others. The work you do often allows you to get to know patients and others personally. Each patient and family member you meet is different, and you might learn a lot from them. You may hear interesting stories, learn family histories, hear new jokes, or get a few new recipes to try. This might be one of the most fun benefits of being a caregiver!
4. It’s an active job.
Caregiving can be physically demanding work. For some, this is a great reason to become a caregiver. Your work may include helping lift and move your patients, light housework, shopping and running other errands, or assisting with an exercise routine. Physical strength and stamina are important, and you will likely be on your feet for most of the day. This job may suit someone who enjoys being active and likes to keep busy.
5. You’ll learn skills you can use at home.
There are many skills you will need to be a successful private caregiver. Strong communication and conflict resolution can come in handy when dealing with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. You will also need large reserves of compassion and patience, as you may be helping patients through difficult times full of change. These “soft” skills can be just as helpful in your everyday life as they are at work!
Caregivers may also need to know basic first aid and emergency life-saving techniques. Knowing how to properly dress a wound, perform CPR, and check vital signs could all come in handy in your personal life.
6. You may enjoy a flexible schedule.
Many private caregivers enjoy a flexible schedule. If you work for yourself, you can set your own work hours and have more independence in your everyday life. Depending on the patients you work with and their needs, you may be able to work around your own schedule to a large degree. For example, you might decide to offer assistance only during school hours, so you can spend more time with your own family.
Protecting Yourself with Caregiver Insurance
Becoming a private caregiver can be a rewarding career move with excellent job prospects and greater control over your day-to-day schedule. You’ll learn and practice valuable skills that can be applied to your personal life and get the chance to connect with others. But while all these benefits of being a caregiver are great, there are risks that come with the job.
Working so closely with patients creates the possibility for claims and lawsuits. Patient injuries, accusations of negligence, or accidentally breaking a patient’s belongings are just some of the issues you might face as a private caregiver. While these events are unplanned (or possibly untrue), you could still be found liable and forced to pay to fix the situation.
Caregiver insurance—such as General Liability, Professional Liability, and other types of coverage—could help protect your small business and personal finances. Lawsuits can be very expensive, especially if they drag on for months or years. Instead of worrying about how you’ll pay legal fees and other related expenses, your insurance policies will cover them for you. That way, you can focus on providing the best care possible instead of worrying about everything that could go wrong!
Ready to protect yourself on the job? Compare caregiver insurance with BizInsure and get covered in minutes.