Whether you’re an aspiring CDS caregiver or already have some level of experience in the field, getting certified can broaden your opportunities and improve the quality of care you provide.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates caregivers’ employment to grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, creating about 599,800 jobs each year. This means that tons of jobs will be up for grabs, and getting a caregiver certification could put you way ahead of the rest. Read on as we take you through the responsibilities of a caregiver and how to get a caregiver certification in Missouri.

Caregiver Responsibilities

Here are some of the key responsibilities of a caregiver:

Provide Companionship

Providing companionship is one of the most essential yet overlooked aspects of caregiving. Feelings of loneliness in seniors can lead to serious health conditions like depression. When taking care of your loved one or patient, you’re also strengthening your bond and connection with them.

Plan and Prepare Meals

As we age, meal preparation becomes increasingly difficult. If your patient or loved one lives alone, they may lack the energy or motivation to cook. As a caregiver, you can plan and prepare meals to ensure that they get proper nutrition.

Assist With Basic Housekeeping

As your loved one ages, they become weaker, and their motivation for doing things like housekeeping reduces tremendously. As such, they might need help around the house, especially if they live alone.

Remind and Administer Medication

Some seniors take several medications to treat chronic conditions. In most cases, they need help keeping track of their medication list, taking prescribed doses at the right time, and understanding drug instructions. You can help lower your loved one’s possibility of under or overdosing by keeping track of their medications.

Run Errands

Most seniors are clouded with mobility issues. Sometimes, moving around can be pretty difficult. As an elderly caregiver, you can help lighten the load by running errands for them.

Help With Personal Care and Other Activities of Daily Living

One of the main responsibilities of a caregiver is preparing a care plan that addresses your patient’s needs and goals. The plan involves everything from personal care to all activities of daily living, including fun.

Offer Support for Physical and Cognitive Conditions

Seniors with physical and cognitive conditions are constantly at risk of falling. If your loved one has any cognitive or mobility issues, you can take steps to help prevent them from falling while keeping them safe and comfortable.

Enhance the Elder’s Quality of Life

As you age, it gets difficult to do the things you used to like. And if you don’t have someone to get you through, your quality of life slowly declines. This puts you at significant risk of depression. Caregivers come in handy by offering companionship and generally being there for the elderly. This increases your loved one’s quality of life.

Each Caregiver Will Provide Specialized Treatment Based on Their Patient

Different patients have different needs that require specialized treatment. For example, a senior with cognitive impairment likely requires more specialized care than one suffering from a chronic disease. Caregivers should make sure that their patients get the care that they deserve.

Why Is Caregiver Certification Important?

Caregiver certification is essential since it demonstrates that you have the training and expertise required to provide a higher level of care. Additionally, it proves that you completed training and passed a certification test geared toward verifying your knowledge.

Certification is also an indication of ongoing education. This is because federal law requires that all caregivers should renew their certification after a certain period by participating in continuing education programs.

Is Caregiver Certification Required?

Whether or not you require certification comes down to the organization you work for. For instance, assisted living facilities or nursing homes require certified caregivers. On the other hand, caregivers who provide companionship, assist with ADLs, or help with other basic tasks don’t always have to be certified.

What Type of Caregivers in Missouri Requires a Certificate?

·         CDS Caregivers: CDS is a Medicaid-funded program that allows the elderly residents of Missouri to hire a caregiver of their choice to help them with daily activities. The program doesn’t limit the elderly on who they can hire, as long as it’s not a spouse or legal guardian. The caregiver can be a friend, neighbor, or another family member.

·         Home Health Aides: Home health aides are caregivers who provide basic services to the elderly, the sick, or disabled persons. They usually work from the patient’s home or a nursing care facility.

·         Certified Nursing Assistants: Certified nursing assistants help patients with direct medical needs. They usually work under the supervision of a nurse.

How to Become a Certified Caregiver

Find a Caregiver Training Program Approved by Your State Health Department

Many states across the US have caregiver resource centers where you can find a reputable course. Most of these programs are offered at:

·         Vocational schools

·         Local universities

·         Local and national organizations for caregivers

·         Red Cross and other agencies

Complete a Caregiver Training Program

Once you get to a good school, it’s time to start the course. Throughout the course, you will learn about various topics such as:

·         Home safety

·         Housekeeping

·         Medical care

·         Personal hygiene

Pass the Certification Exam

At the end of your training (the course), you will have to take an assessment test to earn your certification. When you pass the test, the organization that conducted the training will issue you with a certificate.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Certified Caregiver?

On average, it costs about $59 to be certified by your state and $79 to be certified nationally. That being said, these costs can vary depending on where you choose to get your certification training. Private organizations relatively charge more than government-backed organizations.

The Bottom Line

The demand for certified caregivers is on the rise. Now more than ever, organizations and individuals alike are looking for qualified caregivers with a high level of expertise in the level of care they provide. So, don’t miss out on the chance to broaden your career; get certified now!