What the Work is Like

Every Job is Unique!

If you are looking for a career that provides you with the opportunity to meet new people, develop mutually rewarding relationships, and help people lead more independent lives, then being a paid caregiver may be right for you!

A paid caregiver – also known as a personal care attendant, aide, direct care worker, direct support professional or respite worker – assists with general caregiving responsibilities. Depending on the needs of the individual or family, a caregiver may provide support at home or in the community.

It is important to have a flexible and adaptive nature, be skilled at listening and communicating in an understanding manner, and be comfortable with interacting with people with disabilities and/or seniors. In addition to providing support for basic care needs, it is key to uphold the value that all individuals are entitled to respect and to have the best quality of life possible.   

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    Physical tasks and/or guidance in activities of daily living may include, but are not limited to:

    •    Bathing, dressing, eating, oral hygiene, skin/nail/hair care, toileting
    •    Transferring in and out of a wheelchair or bed
    •    Meal planning, preparation, and clean up
    •    Housekeeping and laundry
    •    Exercising or range of motion activities
    •    Assistance with medications, money management, or teaching opportunities
    •    Supporting the person in leisure or recreational activities
    •    Driving the person to run errands, go shopping, or to work or activities
    •    Providing companionship
    •    Job coaching

    People providing this type of support need to be comfortable with the level of intimacy needed to provide some of these services – and should understand the demands of a position before accepting a job.

    People who need support around issues of judgment, remembering to do certain things, or who need to copy the actions of another require a different kind of support. In this situation, the caregiver may remind the person to get dressed, help arrange social activities, assist with paperwork, or make phone calls.

    In all cases, caregivers should make sure they understand the scope of their job and should provide this service in a gentle and respectful manner.

    What is Respite Care?

    Respite provides short-term relief for family caregivers — whether it’s for an afternoon, several days or weeks. Like everyone, family caregivers need some time to themselves and are encouraged to hire respite workers to fill in when needed. For example, someone may need a few hours of respite care so they can go shopping, go to a medical appointment, take a nap, visit friends, exercise, or enjoy a recreational or community activity. Or it might be a couple of days or weeks to tend to personal business, participate in a special event or take a vacation.

    The benefits of respite care are life changing when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, strengthening and preserving families, ensuring that family caregivers have time to care for their own health, empowering families to stay involved in their communities and delaying out-of-home placements.

    When you complete your online application, you will be able to indicate whether you are available to provide respite care.

    Who Is My Employer?

    Rewarding Work employers are usually individuals and families. Some agencies also use Rewarding Work to assist with their staffing needs. When you work for an individual, that person is your employer. When you work for an agency, the agency is your employer.

    When you work directly for an individual, that person (or family member) will set the terms of your employment, including your responsibilities and hours of work. You and your employer, of course, will reach agreement on these important matters before you start work.

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    How Do I Get Paid?

    The way you are paid will depend on who hires you. Employers should provide details on how you will be paid before you are hired. Remember, each employer situation is different, so make sure you understand how this will work - and don't be afraid to ask questions.

    In general, individual employers will pay you directly. Individual employers who receive state-funded services may ask you to complete new-hire paperwork and you will receive payment through a fiscal intermediary (FI).