The elderly population in Oklahoma is growing at two to three times the rate of other groups. As the elderly population in Oklahoma City continues to grow, so does the need for specialized care services. This increased demand brings with it opportunities for those seeking a fulfilling career in providing support and companionship to seniors.

If you’re seeking an elderly care job in Oklahoma City, here’s what you need to know.

The Demand for Elderly Care Jobs in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma, like many other U.S. states, is experiencing a significant demographic shift. The elderly population is increasing rapidly. Factors such as improved healthcare and better living conditions are causing people to live notably longer. 

Currently, 1-in-5 Oklahomans are over the age of 60. And this age group is estimated to grow to 1-in-4 by 2035. 

The demographic shift brings with it a surge in demand for elderly care services in Oklahoma City. Many older adults require specialized care that caters to their unique needs. 

But with a lack of caregivers available, the state is experiencing a “care gap.” There aren’t enough caregivers for the number of people who need these services. As a result, elderly care professionals are in extremely high demand.

Types of Elderly Care Jobs in Oklahoma City

If you’re considering a job in elderly care, there are many caregiving career routes you could take. The right specialty for you will depend on your skills, interests, and personality. 

Below, we’ve outlined a few of the most in-demand elderly care jobs on the market. We’ve also included the necessary qualifications and must-have qualities and skills for each role.

Home Health Aides

Home health aides temporarily assist older adults who need help with daily activities due to injury, illness, or disability. This type of support helps seniors live independently in the comfort of their homes while in recovery.

Home health aides don’t provide any medical care. Their primary role is personal care and support with activities of daily living. But, they work alongside a medical team to keep track of patients’ health. They also ensure patients take their medications as prescribed by providing them with reminders.

Responsibilities and duties of a home health aide:

  • Help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Perform light housekeeping tasks
  • Plan and prepare nutritious meals
  • Provide safety supervision
  • Run errands such as picking up medications
  • Monitor the health of clients to report back to the primary care team
  • Remind clients to take medication at the correct times and document it

Required qualifications and skills of a home health aide:

  • Education: High school diploma or a GED
  • Training: Home Health Aide Certification (CHHA) and CPR certification
  • Skills: Attention to detail, basic medical knowledge, time management, interpersonal skills, patience, compassion, and trustworthiness

Personal Care Assistant

Home health aides and personal care assistants perform many of the same tasks. But the two roles aren’t identical. Home health aides provide temporary care alongside a patient’s medical team. The focus is on supporting health and recovery. Personal care assistants offer ongoing non-medical care to older adults who simply need support living independently.

Also known as private duty caregivers or adult sitters, personal care assistants support seniors who want to age at home but require a little extra help. This type of caregiver also focuses on providing companionship and emotional support to home-bound clients.

Responsibilities and duties of personal care assistants:

  • Help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, and grooming
  • Plan and prepare meals
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Provide companionship and engage clients in hobbies and activities
  • Run errands such as picking up medications
  • Drive clients to appointments and other locations

Skills and qualifications needed of personal care assistants:

  • Education: High school diploma or a GED
  • Training: Basic caregiver certification and CPR certification
  • Skills: Interpersonal skills, empathy, patience, compassion, reliability, time management, and trustworthiness 

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an entry-level nursing position. For many, it’s the first step on the ladder to becoming a registered nurse.

When working with the elderly, CNAs assist with personal care and activities of daily living while also monitoring a patient’s health. It’s similar to the role of a Home Health Aide but even more medically specialized. 

A CNA is required to work under a registered nurse and report their patients’ conditions and progress. They can also provide some basic medical treatments under a registered nurse’s supervision.

Being a CNA is one of the most versatile elderly care positions. You can work in home health care, hospitals, nursing facilities, hospices, and more.

Responsibilities and duties of certified nursing assistants:

  • Help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, and grooming
  • Assist with meal planning, prep, and eating
  • Taking vitals and monitoring health
  • Medication reminders and documentation

Skills and qualifications needed of certified nursing assistants:

  • Education: High school diploma or a GED
  • Training: Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) License and CPR certification
  • Skills: Basic medical knowledge, attention to detail, adaptability, time management, interpersonal skills, patience, and compassion 

Training and Education for Elderly Care Jobs in Oklahoma City

Training and certification can greatly help you build a successful career as a caregiver for the elderly. Below are some caregiving certifications you may want to consider.

First aid and CPR certification:

  • Duration: Typically 1-2 days
  • Crucial skills for any caregiver, covering emergency situations and basic life support

Basic caregiver certification:

  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Curriculum: Job responsibilities, basic hygiene, personal and environmental safety, simple first aid, and emergency procedures
  • Can be done online

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Licence:

  • Duration: 75 hours
  • Curriculum: Basic nursing skills, patient care, communication, and more
  • Accredited programs available at local community colleges and vocational schools

Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) Licence:

  • Duration: 75 hours (at least 16 hours in the classroom and 16 hours of practical training)
  • Curriculum: Personal care, hygiene, nutrition, and basic medical knowledge
  • Offered by accredited institutions and agencies

Specialized Caregiver Certification:

Finding Elderly Care Jobs in Oklahoma City

When looking for a job as a carer for the elderly in Oklahoma City, finding the right fit is crucial. Some caregivers work independently, while others prefer to work for dedicated care agencies such as Providence Home Care. 

Working for an agency is a great way to feel supported throughout your career. It can provide job opportunities, extra training, job security, and higher job satisfaction.

Resources for finding elder care jobs and agencies in Oklahoma City:

Rewards and Challenges of Working in Elderly Care in Oklahoma City

Working in elderly care is not just a job. It’s a deeply rewarding and fulfilling career. 

As a caregiver for the elderly, you get to positively impact seniors’ lives. You allow many older adults to continue living safely and independently in the familiarity and comfort of their homes. And you get to see the difference you make every day.

Apart from how fulfilling the role is, caregiving is also extremely flexible, has good job security, and offers plenty of professional growth opportunities. 

That’s not to say caregiving doesn’t come with some challenges. Providing care for an adult is a physically demanding role that requires a lot of energy. Looking after seniors with chronic illnesses or disabilities can also be emotionally draining. Many caregivers experience periods of high stress and burnout.

Caregivers must remember to take time to look after themselves as well. Make sure to rest, practice self-care, and seek help if you need it. 

Start Your Career With Providence Home Care

Providence Home Care is an Oklahoma-based home care provider looking for passionate and dedicated caregivers to join our team.

Whether you’re beginning your career or have years of experience, you will find a compassionate and supportive environment at Providence that fosters personal and professional growth. We even received the 2023 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award.

Want to make a difference in seniors’ lives? Start your career in caregiving for elders today.

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