Home Care Worker Business Idea

Home Care Business

mgultz 7/18/2007

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Business Summary:

Our rapidly growing senior population is going to require more and more services, particularly those who want to stay in their own homes. As a home care worker, you will be assisting your clients with the activities of daily living, including meal preparation, house cleaning, running errands and helping with personal hygiene. People who enjoy working on a very part-time basis often find a certificate as a nursing assistant helpful. They may choose to take on one or two private duty clients, staying overnight if required, particularly after a client has had a hospital stay. Others with LPN or RN degrees may choose to run a home care agency, employing others as actual caregivers while they take care of administrative duties and public relations. Another type of home care workers is the nurse or physical therapist who brings her medical skills into the home of client. They may give medications, perform physical therapy or monitor vital signs to make sure that the client’s health is stable.

As you can see, there are different types of home care workers doing very different tasks for their aging clients. All of them, however, have a lot of flexibility in the amount of time they choose to work. And all of them are helping older Americans stay in their homes instead of going into assisted living or a nursing home.

Start Up Cost: $2,000 – $5,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

Those who have worked in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will tell you that you have to have a special attachment to the aging in order to work with them on a daily basis. For those who do, this job will bring many rewards. A minimum of nurse's aide training and a CPR certificate should be sufficient to insure that you will find employment in the field. This is certainly true if you’ve had prior experience working with the elderly. As mentioned above, degrees in nursing, physical therapy, or social work provide an excellent background in home care work – as well as an excellent income.

How Much Can You Earn:

A home care worker who has nurse’s aide certification will earn considerably less than an RN who chooses to do private duty nursing. Still, a skilled CENA (Certified Nurse Assistant in most states) can still earn $15 an hour and more, especially for private duty work. A Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse who works in home health care can earn from $20 to even $50 per hour for taking care of one or two clients. Those who choose to start their own home health care agencies will probably not see that kind of income for several months, but eventually they can earn $45,000 to $55,000 and more per year.

Understanding Customers:

Senior citizens can be difficult to work with – as can any segment of the population. They are usually very aware of their own failing health and their inability to perform tasks that were once easy for them. Your job as a home health worker involves assessing your clients’ physical and mental health while you are performing other chores for them. You’ll need to be aware of signs of deterioration, and you’ll work closely with family members to keep them informed of the client’s status. Once you have established a reputation as an outstanding worker, you should have no trouble acquiring other clients – caring workers are always in demand.

Marketing Strategy:

Advertise in local newspapers, the Yellow Pages and specialized newsletters that are distributed to civic groups, social clubs and religious organizations. Make sure to have a well-designed brochure that you can distribute in hospitals, senior centers, home care supply stores and senior rehabilitation centers. As your business expands, you may decide to develop a blog or website to reach additional customers.

Requirements:

Be sure to check your state’s requirements for home care workers. Some states have much more stringent requirements than other, so you should find this out before you make further plans. In addition to the degrees and certifications discussed above, experience in working with the aging is a big plus for home care work.

You should have a home office unless you are working for an agency. Your office should include:

  • Computer and necessary software
  • Printer
  • Fax machine
  • Expense records
  • Smocks, casual pants and comfortable shoes (jeans detract from a professional appearance)
  • Cell phone to keep with you at all times during the day

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