With the population worldwide continuing to age in record numbers and longevity increasing thanks to health care advances, home caregiving continues to be among the fast growing career opportunities according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Caregivers work primarily for elderly or senior clients, but not exclusively. Their role is to help the individual with personal grooming, bathing and dressing when they get up in the morning, along with meal preparation, housework chores as required, and providing transportation to doctor's appointments and such errands as grocery shopping.
Home caregivers who want to start offering their services as a business must be well-organized, compassionate, patient in dealing with other people, and have the physical and mental stamina to assist another person, often under challenging physical circumstances due to health or age.
Check with your local government to find out if you need to be licensed or bonded to start a caregiver business. Do you want to work alone, keeping your own schedule? Ask yourself if you eventually want to hire others to work for you, sending them out in the field to provide the hands-on caregiving assistance while you manage the operation and everyone's schedule from a central office. Will you limit yourself to only daytime availability, and are you willing to work nights and weekends if that's what a client requires?
You must establish an hourly fee to charge caregiving clients, usually between $15 and $25 per hour, depending upon the amount of assistance you will be providing. Once you get a flow of clients, all with varying schedules, it is essential that you keep an accurate calendar, either by hand or on the computer, so you know just where and when your time is scheduled.
Some caregivers provide minimal assistance such as grocery and medical appointment transportation for clients, while others might be hired to work an 8-hour day, going to the client's home by 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. to help the client get ready for the day, and not leave until 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. after providing a nourishing dinner and putting away the dishes.
It's relatively easy to market your caregiver business to prospective clients. Have professionally printed flyers or business cards printed up and post them on community and church bulletin boards, or at local senior centers.
An increasing percentage of the aging population wants to stay in the comfort of their own homes and just need a little added assistance. Starting a caregiver business will provide them with the help necessary to do just that. You can find out more about what it takes to run your own company by taking classes in business management online.