Are you interested in helping others while working part-time? Explore a career in caregiving.
Companion caregivers play a special role in homes and communities across the country. They’re a friendly face, offering support to older adults and families.
In today’s job market, companion caregivers are in demand. Most work part-time and set their own schedules, making it a highly flexible job. You’ll find great opportunities in rural areas, small towns and big cities.
People often ask about the qualifications needed to work in caregiving. The answer? It might surprise you.
The 3 main qualifications are empathy, life experience and reliability.
1. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others.
An empathetic person sees life from the point of view of others. They show compassion. No training or class can teach you empathy. It’s part of who you are. Your natural empathy will make you a good caregiver.
2. Life experience is knowledge.
Your life experience adds up: Experience running a home, volunteering, caring for kids, supporting parents and grandparents, and helping others–as well as experience working in a variety of jobs–is highly valuable.
3. Reliability means people can count on you.
You’re dependable. People know that you will follow through on the little things and the big things.
Do you need health care experience to become a caregiver?
No health care experience is required. At Papa, companion caregivers are called Papa Pals. They provide non-medical support and companionship.
Working as a Papa Pal varies immensely. No two days are the same in this part-time flexible job. It's easy to apply and you can get started working within a few weeks.
Papa Pals can help people by:
- Lending a hand around the house with light housekeeping, meal prep and organizing
- Providing transportation to an appointment at the doctor’s or dentist’s
- Making a pot of tea and enjoying conversation
- Going on a walk around the neighborhood
- Running errands and unpacking groceries
- Being a great companion
Don’t confuse the role of Papa Pal companion caregiver with a home health aide (HHA), certified home health aide (CHHA) or certified nursing assistant (CNA). Those roles require different levels of training, certification and licensing.
Caregiving roles vary widely. During your job hunt, take time to check that a role is right for your interests, schedule and financial needs.