You may not realize how lonely many seniors are. With grown adult children who are busy, friends and spouses who may have passed away, and no activities to meet new people, 33% of seniors feel lonely. Socially isolated seniors are at a higher risk of health issues — including dementia, heart disease, and stroke — with a fourfold increased risk of death.
Seniors need companionship, and you can make a career of providing it for them. Becoming a day sitter for elderly patients is a great way to positively impact your community.
What is a Day Sitter?
A day sitter provides seniors companionship by spending time and engaging with them, forming a friendship. Day sitters also help their clients with everyday activities, allowing them to age in place rather than in a senior care facility. They help seniors maintain their independence while also having a friend to talk to.
Before pursuing a day-sitting career, you should know and be comfortable with your duties.
Common Duties of a Day Sitter for Elderly People
As a day sitter, your duties will be a mix of emotional work and logistics. While you’ll provide friendship, you’ll also help around the house with tasks that elderly patients struggle with. These duties help care for elderly patients and keep them in their homes.
Your daily tasks might include:
- Providing companionship
- Planning and joining recreational activities
- House cleaning
- Preparing meals
- Reminding clients to take their medication
- Providing transportation
- Running errands
The duties you provide will depend on your client and their needs.
Reasons Seniors Need Caregivers
Every client has their own unique needs and reasons for hiring a caregiver. But most of these reasons involve needing help with things they can’t do all on their own and wanting companionship and safety for their loved one.
Reasons people hire in-home help include:
- The family needs part-time caregiving support
- Increased need for help with daily tasks
- Desire to age in place (rather than in a senior care facility)
- Want to remain mostly independent
- Mental or physical conditions or diseases
Seniors need day sitters, especially as more of them want to age in place. Because of the high demand, a day-sitting career is secure and lucrative, and the field could always use more help.
How to Become a Day Sitter for Elderly
If you’re interested in day sitting, it’s time to think about the path to starting your career. We’ll walk you through the qualifications required and the steps to get started.
Typical Qualifications Required
To make sure your application gets noticed by caregiving agencies, you’ll want to have the following:
- Nursing License. You’ll need a Certified Nurse Aide License to be credentialed to move patients and help them with activities of daily living such as bathing.
- CPR Certification. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can save a client’s life, which is why you’ll need to be certified. Certifications typically last two years, so you’ll need to get recertified periodically.
- Driver’s License with a Reliable Vehicle. Since you’ll provide transportation, run errands, and deliver medications, a driver’s license and a reliable vehicle are a requirement.
- High School Diploma or GED. While you need your high school diploma or GED, you don’t need any further education.
- Emotional Capabilities. Providing emotional support to clients can become emotionally draining. Make sure you’ll be able to handle the emotional toll caregiving can take.
- Physical Capabilities. You’ll need to be physically able to lift your clients safely, carry heavy groceries, and clean their house.
After you have the proper care sitting qualifications, you can think about the path to starting your career.
Steps to take to start caregiving:
- Find the Right Company. Finding the right company is about ensuring your values align with theirs. Take a piece of paper and write out a list of your values. Do you value career growth, flexibility, or compassion? Make sure you know your values, then look for companies in your area who match your values.
- Apply. After finding the right companies, ensure your resume is updated and error-free. To increase your chances of getting noticed, include keywords that refer to the job you’re applying for. For example, if they’re looking for someone compassionate, include that in your list of soft skills. Then, apply for the day sitting position.
- Interview. If you tailor your resume for the job posting, chances are you’ll get a request to interview. While you should prepare for the interview by understanding the company and its values, your personality is important too. Don’t let your nerves cloud your kind and compassionate personality.
Benefits of Being a Day Sitter
Applying and interviewing for day-sitting positions can be stressful, but pursuing a caregiving career is worth the discomfort. The temporary stress of applications will diminish when you experience the benefits of being a day sitter.
Benefits of being a day sitter include:
- Impact. You’ll positively impact your clients, giving your career purpose and meaning.
- Flexibility. You’ll have a flexible schedule, which means you can pursue your other goals and take care of your personal matters, all while working and making money on your own time.
- Security. You’ll be secure in your job because day sitters are always needed.
- Growth. You’ll have access to career growth opportunities. For example, you could go on to become a caregiving manager or a home health aide.
Start Your Career with Providence
A day-sitting career is fulfilling, flexible, secure, and growth-oriented. If this career sounds right for you, we’d love to talk to you. We’re looking for more compassionate day sitters who want to make a difference. Providence Home Care is a workplace where you can improve your clients’ lives, have a flexible schedule, and grow with a purpose.
Start your career in caregiving today.