Helping Seniors Keep Their Autonomy: Working as an At Home CNA

| Monday, February 28, 2011
By Andrew Miller

One of the problems which many seniors face is balancing their autonomy with their failing health. A lot of well meaning families push their elders into nursing homes ?for their own safety?, when many elders would much rather have their freedom and live more riskily than be shoved into an institution where they will be medicated, unable to enjoy their freedom and slowly wither away. If you have a senior who is in real need of medical care (Such as having Alzheimer?s Disease or other serious safety health problems), then that?s one thing; but if it is just a matter of the senior being slower or more forgetful but still wanting their freedom, then that?s something else again. If the family and the senior want to balance out the need for freedom with the need for safety, they may want to consider home care aid; someone to check in daily and keep on top of little things.

This is where working as a certified nursing assistant specializing in home care aid comes in and really, there is an increasing demand for them as the independent baby boomers come into their golden years. As an at home care aid CNA, you will be traveling to private homes daily or weekly and doing things like basic chores, checking up on your clients, making sure prescriptions are up to date, helping with immunizations, and other things that your client needs. Working as an at home CNA care aid pays better because you can charge for things like gas purchased, but it means a lot more travel time and you will be largely working for yourself; you have to find your clients and make sure to keep them.

It is important to have at home care aids be more widely available. As more and more stories surface about the horrors of nursing homes (ranging from simple boredom and atrophy to outright abuse) and more and more seniors exert their right to enjoy their life on their terms while still balancing medical needs, an at home CNA seems to make for an ideal balancing point. The main problem many people have is with the expense; at home care aids cost quite a bit of money and they aren?t usually covered by the state. As a CNA however, you can charge less, get more clients and help seniors maintain and enjoy their autonomy while preserving their health.

In order to start working as an at home care aid, make it widely known through hospitals, clinics, seniors? centers, newspapers and anywhere else you can think of that you are certified as a nursing assistant and you are looking for clients. Emphasize that you are a certified nursing professional, but as an assistant, you will likely be more affordable. It may take some time to gather clients (in the meantime, you can work in hospitals and clinics to make money part time and network), but you will end up with a worthwhile job that pays well, can be balanced against your life and will help seniors not only live healthier but also on their own terms.

The push for more independent seniors is growing as people live longer and wants to enjoy more of those years without being constantly supervised, helped, and treated like babies. As part of this push, you can be available for at home care and help seniors enjoy their life while at the same time making sure that they are well taken care of. It?s well worth looking into for your career.

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