Senior citizens caring for other seniors

by John Baldwin, FLT Columnist

Paul is 92 years old and is slowed significantly by Alzheimer’s disease, but when his 74-year-old home caregiver arrives to get Paul out of bed, bathed and groomed, the day takes a turn for the better. As the demand for senior care services increases across the country, more and more families are finding a supportive lifeline in older caregivers – who are sometimes nearly the same age as their clients.

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit advocate for America’s workers caring for the elderly and disabled, projects that by 2018, 29 percent of direct senior care providers will be age 55 and older. In some U.S. population segments, seniors already make up the majority of older home health care professionals.

Home health jobs are fast-growing in today’s world of ever-increasing elderly baby boomers. With the challenging job market and people living longer on fixed incomes, many American seniors are drawn to work in elderly care to supplement their retirement incomes. And despite the physical demands and risk for injury, thousands of older individuals are finding success and fulfillment in helping other aging adults.

Right at Home is a leader in hiring senior citizens to provide home health care for other seniors and disabled adults. In both 2014 and 2015, our company honored a senior professional caregiver as the Right at Home National Caregiver of the Year. Both of these extraordinary senior caregivers demonstrated exceptional skills and compassion in caring for their elderly clients. Active older caregivers often stand out with years of work competency and a depth of generational awareness that strengthen their first-rate senior care.

There are a number of advantages to hiring older adults as professional at-home caregivers:

  • Personal knowledge of the aging process. Because of their own adjustments to aging, senior caregivers can relate to the health changes and emotions their elderly clients are experiencing. Older caregivers understand common aches and pains of aging, which makes them better equipped to care for the older men and women they serve.
  • Years of work and life experience. Many older at-home care providers have weathered decades of financial, family, career and health challenges, which equips them with invaluable flexibility and resolve. Life-tested seniors are more adaptable and composed than their younger counterparts in handling on-the-job difficulties and unexpected client care issues.
  • Dependability and commitment. Older adults model trustworthiness in consistently showing up for work on time and completing assigned tasks. Most grew up learning the value of making commitments and honoring them. Reliability is a trait of senior caregivers that increases their “I’m-here-for-you” relationship with elderly clients and their families.
  • Common-age relational skills. Do you remember the day JFK was shot? Who were your favorite music groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s? When did you first see color television? Older loved ones often enjoy reminiscing about their lives and milestone world events. Seasoned in conversing and listening, senior at-home care providers build a natural rapport and genuine friendships with their elderly clients.

Home care agencies face higher turnover rates among younger caregivers who change jobs more frequently, often in a shift of priorities to focus on their education and children. Because older adults tend to be more settled in their work goals and family commitments, their stability is attractive to in-home care employers like Right at Home.

 

We welcome qualified older men and women to extend our professional and passionate in-home care. Senior caregivers fit our Right Care, Right People approach to delivering service with excellence. Older individuals caring for their peers benefits all of us.

Right at Home, In Home Care and Assistance, is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, Inc., serving the communities of Wood, Lucas and parts of Sandusky counties. For more information, contact Right at Home of Perrysburg at http://www.rahnwohio.com, 567-336-6062 or by email at jbaldwin@rahnwohio.com.