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An Elder Care Provider, also called an In-Home Non-medical Caregiver, assists seniors to perform "activities of daily living" (ADLs) such as cleaning, bill-paying, dressing, bathing, cooking, shopping, laundry, and providing medication reminders. The one-on-one companionship provided by the Elder Care Provider makes this senior service assistant an important resource for coordinating the wide range of services needed by the elderly population that seeks to remain at home. They are also a family's point person for timely identifying an elder's need for crisis management.
Find out about state laws that may apply to providing this service. The state may require a license, certification, or insurance to provide senior services. For instance, if transporation will be provided additional insurance will likely be required.
Read about the elder care industry. Reading will boost your confidence in speaking with others about your services and also it will provide you with information on what to expect as a provider.
Talk with other Elder Care Providers in your community. There may be an association or there may be listings available through local senior service agencies. Don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. These contacts may also lead to sources of referrals from other providers who are unable to take on further clients.
Draft a contract that includes pay rates and frequency of payments, as well as the services provided and the times of availability. Subsequent disputes regarding the terms of engagement will be mitigated if clearly provided for in writing and signed by the parties. Unless the senior has a conservator or guardian, this contract should be signed by the senior being provided the service and not a family member.
Network with community centers, retirement homes, friends and relatives to let them know that you have become an Elder Care Provider. Clients will likely be obtained by referrals. Visit assisted living facilities to expand your associations within the industry.
Purchase business cards and brochures that can be posted on community boards available at local libraries, cafes or grocery stores. Set up a service website and consider Craigslist as a free advertising resource.
Obtain proper licensing, certification, and insurance to avoid penalties and potential legal liability.
Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.