Most of us have to take care of elders at some point of time in our life. If you have the inclination to be of service, enjoy being with elders and taking care of them, then a career as a senior citizen helper would be ideal for you. Here's how to become a helper:
Duties of a Senior Citizen Helper
- Keep contact details of person(s) to be contacted in case of an emergency with you at all times, and ensure these and your own numbers are available within easy access to the seniors outside of your duty hours.
Service may include:
- Visiting the senior citizen's home daily, ensuring they are fine, doing chores or getting the same done through another service.
- Reporting on the senior's status regularly to the relative who pays for your services, when that is the case.
- Taking the seniors to any community event they wish to attend.
- Doing necessary shopping for groceries, medicines as per dosage and requirement.
- Any other responsibility that will be required and communicated at the time of hiring.
- Do NOT take on the responsibility of medical care unless you have the necessary training for it. Where doctor's appointments are made, ensure that your client keeps the appointment.
How to advertise and sell your service
- Since this activity would be around the area of your residence, your advertising and marketing activities will be centered on the local community only.
You can use these cost effective ways to let people know about your business and to sell your service:
- Display your business details with contact numbers in an appealing manner up on the notice boards of the local community center, the local senior citizens' center, the local clubs, the library and the local medical and health center, etc.
- Get in touch with the local medical officer and hospital and explain your business, your previous relevant experience, etc. Show proof of your credentials where possible. Whenever they come across cases needing your services, they will refer your business.
- This is an activity based primarily on references and not advertising. Hence, whenever you provide services, request a recommendation.
How to charge for your services
- What you are offering primarily is your time and some service. Hence, the payment would be primarily for your time.
- From the above and any additional responsibility which has been specified for the job, list all the duties you will be taking on as a helper. For each, list any expense you will have to meet in the line of this duty.
Some such costs would be:
- Telephone calls from your house to confirm that the senior citizen is fine, and checking in for the night when confirmation calls are part of the listed responsibility.
- Transportation costs to and from your residence to the senior citizen's home.
- Any costs of items bought for the senior citizen like groceries, medicine, laundry pickup, etc. that have to be reimbursed.
- You can charge a flat rate per hour plus cost of any additional expense other than those already defined. Let's say cost of your daily transportation can be included in the flat charge, but any cost of transportation to and from hospitals will be additional.
As you can see, there is very little money outlay in this business. Your only need is time, a telephone, a vehicle, a computer and some accounting. Anything outside of these costs is profit!