One of the most reliable support systems known to humanity is the family unit. This system is essential for a family that has an adult with special needs. However, in reality, the family may not have the expertise to understand the child’s condition thoroughly. The family may also not have the time to be physically present to provide 24-hour care around the clock. To remedy these obstacles, parents can hire special needs caregivers.
At Home Community Based Service Provider (HCBS), we call our team of special needs caregivers Direct Support Professionals. Our Support Professionals team provides care to individuals with chronic illnesses, physical impairment, or intellectual disabilities. This team helps our clients by assisting in their daily living activities. Some visit four or five clients on the same day, and others only work with one client all day. Often, our team stays with one client on a long-term basis. They may work with other team members in shifts, so the client always has support. Our Direct Support Professionals work can work shifts during weekdays and some weekends, depending on the needs of the client. This job requires daily travel to our client’s homes.
Caregiver Duties and Responsibilities
HCBS hires caregivers to provide ongoing assistance and care to our adult clients who are unable to manage their own needs. Here are the duties our Direct Support Professionals perform. Since each client is unique, these duties can change from client to client.
Caregivers can be asked to prepare, cook, and feed meals to their clients. The caregiver may also perform grocery shopping for their client or assist them with shopping. Managing meals can include cleanup of the client after eating and cleaning food preparation areas after meals.
Caregivers assist their clients with many daily grooming needs, including brushing their teeth and hair, bathing, and dressing for the day.
Our caregivers often help with tasks like the laundry, making up the bed, doing dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and performing other housekeeping chores.
Caregivers keep their clients’ minds active by planning and managing learning and entertainment activities. These activities may include playing games, reading books, watching educational videos, going to the movies, or even just sitting and talking to clients.
Part of the job responsibility is monitoring clients. Monitoring includes reporting any changes in a client’s physical health or behavior to your supervisor and family members. You will also assist individuals in making progress on their goals, as stated in their support plan. We do require progress reports and other paperwork to be filed electronically. The use of a smartphone and computer are required.
Assist with Mobility
Some of our clients may have limited mobility, so the caregivers must physically assist clients with getting around. They may also take clients to medical or physical therapy appointments. We know not everyone can lift an adult person, so we match what you can do with the clients that need help.
Caregiver Personal Skills and Qualifications
To be a caregiver, you have to be a nurturing person. You are required to treat clients with respect and dignity while protecting their privacy. Here are some skills that will help you excel as a caregiver:
– You are required to talk with your clients while you’re with them at home or in the community. You will also have to communicate with other staff and the client’s family. We also require you to disclose any client changes in detailed reports to family members and HCBS supervisors regarding the client’s progress and state of well-being.
– Caring for clients requires caregivers to remain with clients at all times. This job may require caregivers to perform tasks repeatedly.
– Our caregivers must maintain a compassionate and kind demeanor.
– At HCBS, our caregivers might be asked to lift and carry clients, household items, groceries, and laundry. You might also be required to care for clients by stooping, bending, squatting, and turning. You might be standing for hours at a time, which requires good physical strength. We match our caregiver’s abilities with the client’s needs.
Caregiver Education and Training
At HCBS, our caregivers must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED. We also require child abuse clearance, a criminal background check, and FBI fingerprint clearance. You must also have a valid driver’s license. The vehicle you drive must be registered and insured. Any previous experience working with people who have disabilities, or a college degree in behavioral studies, social work, counseling, or a related field is a big plus but not required. At HCBS, we do require you to provide a resume. If you have any professional references highlighting your ability to perform the necessary job tasks, that will help too. Also, if you have a first aid certification or a CPR card showing you know how to perform this life-saving skill, please include this information on your resume. Also, please let us know if you have a Direct Support Professionals (DSP) certification.
Caregiver Salary and Employment Status Outlook
HCBS provides competitive wages and a flexible work schedule to fit your lifestyle. We hire our team as independent contractors, and they work on a client by client basis.
The career outlook for Direct Support Professionals is very positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow 36 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.