Senior Care Certifications 101

Where to get them and why they're important.

woman with senior

You enjoy working with seniors and have plenty of experience providing companionship, assistance, and care. Maybe you've cared for your own parents or grandparents, or worked at an assisted living facility or nursing home. You know you're qualified. So why do you need to get certified?

Certification will help you gain the trust of seniors and their families by giving you credibility above and beyond your hands-on training. If you're serious about a part-time or full-time career as a senior care provider, certifications are an excellent way to set yourself apart from other care providers.

Where to Start: Popular Senior Care Courses and Certifications

    • The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross offers a Family Caregiving Program designed for those who care for the elderly, ill, or disabled at home. The program covers home safety, assisting with personal care (including bathing), healthy eating, and caring for seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

    • The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC)

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers national certification for in-home care providers. The Certification for Homemaker/Home Care Aides is awarded to care providers who demonstrate competency in training, skills demonstration, and a written exam. Visit their website for more information on NAHC's education and certification programs.

    • The National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN)

The National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses offers several levels of certification, many of which require a nursing license. The Certification for Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistants (CHPNA) does not require a nursing license, although it does require 2000 practice hours under the supervision of a registered nurse. This certification is good for four years. The CHPNA exam is offered in 50 US locations every March and September. The cost of initial certification is $180, and the cost of renewal is $155. Discounts are available for members of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). Visit their website for a candidate handbook and application.

Know the Laws

In some states, you may be required to have both licensing and insurance in order to provide senior care services. Please check with the national organizations above, the Better Business Bureau and local, state, or federal agencies to see what the minimum requirements are for establishing a senior care business in your area. Providing this licensing and insurance information up front will also increase your credibility with prospective employers.

Overall Perspective

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states only require senior care providers to have on-the-job training. Other states, however, require more formal training, which may be available at local community colleges or vocational schools. The duties of senior care providers range from housekeeping to personal and medical care. Many senior care providers begin their careers by performing housekeeping duties. Then, with experience, training, and certifications, they become able to provide more personal and medical assistance.

Even the most experienced provider will benefit from education and certification. Certification will make you a more confident and credible senior care provider.

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Comments (85)
hello my name is selah, i been taking care of my elderly mom for 10 yr,oi was certified in another state,can the certification transfer from state to state / must i take refresher courses, to get recertified? if so can you please advise me where do i start, and is there a fee? i really need some support please help me find resources so i can take care of my parent thanks.
Posted: July 07, 2014 at 6:55 PM
Photo of Cislyn P.
Cislyn P.
I am a care giver for the pass five years enjoyed working with them and I would like to know where I can go to get certify . I lived in tallahassee florid
Posted: June 05, 2014 at 8:35 PM
Deborah W.
it is rewarding to have certifications in senior care, it makes you feel comfortable with the senior person so you know what you are doing, I have been in this field for 15yrs I am a certified personal care workers PCW, and I am certified in community based residential facility CBRF, I work with the elderly in their homes and in group homes, so take the little time it take to get one or both or all!!!
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 6:34 PM
I am also interested in serving the elderly and making a difference in their lives.i have genuine interest to care for the elder but i would like to know where i can get good training at a reasonable cost.Please help.
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 7:27 AM
Milldred B.
I am interested in the senior care and would like to get training and be able to obtain a certification. I worked part-time for 6 years with a private agency caring for elderly, while I was working full time on a administrative assistant position. Working part time with the elderly created in me a passion for elderly and wanted to make a different in the lives of others. Please let me know where can I go for this type of training. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM
I am very interested in training/ classes to further my education. Its a good thing to clicked on this website the information provided can be made very useful. Thank you.
Posted: February 03, 2014 at 6:18 PM
Rosemarie W.
Thanks to all of you. I have experience in caring for people but need to be certified. Are there places one can get free training?
Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:47 AM
Frances E.
I have worked as a caregiver in a care facility for mentally ill and developmentally disabled adult clients, including elderly clients and as a Day Program Client Life Skills Supervisor for developmentally disabled adult clients, which also included elderly clients, for a total of nearly 30 years. I've also provided private in-home care for an elderly client with declining mental abilities for another year. I am very interested in obtaining certification in the area of elder care. I live in Central California near Yosemite. I would also be interested to know if any of the certification classes are available online as I live in a rural area nearly an hour away from Fresno or Madera. Fuel in this area is nearly $4.00 per gallon which makes travel that far difficult as I am a widow on social security.
Posted: August 31, 2013 at 11:10 PM
semakula kamiat
Am a Ugandan,t chemist by profession working however living with my elderly ailing mother. I feel she gets so bored and upset.Basing on what I have experienced, I feel there are so many elderly parents who would need the psycho-social support to live a dignified life. On a serious note I feel I should retire from my job to establish a home for the elderly. my mum would also be part of the elderly home. But I feel I need some training to do this job perfectly. I already have land and a descent building to start with. Please kindly advise on how I can get the training.
Posted: August 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Photo of Resani H.
Resani H.
thanks for all the informations
Posted: February 05, 2013 at 9:17 PM
Photo of Carolina M.
Carolina M.
I live in Maricopa, AZ. Where can I enroll and get a certification as a CNA or Caregiver? The nearest training center possible is the better.
Posted: December 04, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Photo of Joshette J.
Joshette J.
I live in Columbus ohio and I am very interested in getting a senior care certificate where can I go
Posted: November 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM
Photo of Maria A.
Maria A.
The red cross is not supplying these classes,at least not in my location here in the high desert of California and your loco vocational school , class run $700 to $800 hundred to enroll. When I first was certified I did it threw R.O.P classes ,you only paid for books. Now that I need to get re certified the coast has gone way up. and I can not afford it.:(
Posted: November 08, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Photo of Patricia F.
Patricia F.
I am very much interesting in the senior care certificatin program.CAN i get more imformation? I am from brooklyn, new york.Please provide me with right imformation.
Posted: October 03, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Photo of Michelle P.
Michelle P.
To everyone that asked how to start or begin these classes, actually read the article it states clearly where,when,and how to aquire these certifications please stop asking the same question over and over you would know if you had "READ" IT!!!
Posted: October 03, 2012 at 7:50 AM
Photo of Gwendolyn W.
Gwendolyn W.
Iam very interested in the senior care certification program. How do i find this program in my area? I live in Newnan, Ga.
Posted: September 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM
Photo of April B.
April B.
im very interested in the elderly certifications...
Posted: July 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Kathy W.
I am a CNA. I have ten years of hospital experience for the past two years I have been working as a care giver.I could not work the 12 hr. shifts at the hospitals any longer. Since working as a caregiver I have found it difficult to find work and
keep working. I wanted to be an Echo tech. but I changed my major to last year something I know I can do. That is
Gerontology. So far I have taken The Biology of Aging and now I am taking The Sociality of Aging I still have more classes to take. I have experience and I trying to get more education to find out how to take care of my patients better. However I still have trouble finding work as a caregiver and keeping the job. Right now I cannot afford a car due not enough work. Any suggestions Thank You
Posted: July 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Sylvia F.
I live in Los Angeles CA, where can,i get the certification for caregiver thankypu
Posted: July 06, 2012 at 1:43 PM
Janean S.
I have done in home care,as well as having worked at a residential facility, I am a DSP, Caregiver, and I try and keep my certifications updated. I just would like to say that I like and enjoy your website! Thankyou. J. Wise
Posted: July 02, 2012 at 3:36 PM
Photo of Evelyn T.
Evelyn T.
I'm very interested in the certification program s please let me know where to
go in my area. Please forward me the info.
Posted: June 26, 2012 at 1:46 AM
Photo of Gwendolyn J.
Gwendolyn J.
Im very interested in the certification program, is there some place in my area? Please forward info, 30 years experience without it.
Posted: June 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM
Cheryl H.
I would love to take the certification program caring for the elderly. Is there any location close to my area. Cheryl H.
Posted: May 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM
Photo of Jaclyn F.
Jaclyn F.
I am truly interested in caring for the elderly and to earn a certification. I have some experience through family that were elderly or had some type of disability health wise or physical or so fourth. I would really like to get more information on this.
Posted: May 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM
Photo of Yvette H.
Yvette H.
I am interested in taking courses for my caregiving job. How do I find schools near me?
Posted: May 02, 2012 at 6:29 PM
Anna S.
Posted: April 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM
Photo of Misty M.
Misty M.
I am interested in being certified to care for seniors. The problem is I do not have the money to pay for the classes myself. Are there any places where they are offering the certifications for free?
Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:14 PM
nahomy duarte
i reall y interested in get classess for be licensed to provide care to elderly i planning to get certification for medicaid in order to put and elderly day care what i need
Posted: March 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM
Photo of Monica G.
Monica G.
As is mentioned in the article there are lots of options for certification! Check out these websites for national programs:

The American Red Cross

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice

National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses

You can also do a search of local certification programs by contacting technical schools, nursing homes, and visiting nursing associations in your area. Another nationally recognized certificate is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) so be sure to ask about it!
Posted: March 01, 2012 at 4:49 PM
Idella W.
Idella W.

I have my CNA already however,I need to register for the Senior Care Certification with the Red Cross. It's always a good idea to have both.
Posted: February 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM
Photo of Sylvia R.
Sylvia R.
I'm very interested in the elderly certifications. Need more information on the where and how to get enrolled in classes in colorado.Thank You
Posted: February 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I live in the Atlanta area and would like to know where to go to start these classes.
Posted: February 03, 2012 at 5:08 PM
Jacqueline O.
I am intersted in getting certified. Please give more imformation and were I am able to go for the course.
Posted: February 03, 2012 at 3:46 PM
Betty G.
My name is Betty i am very interested in taking the Certification class to futher my nursing career i have eighteen years of experience of taking care of the elderly
Posted: February 02, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Photo of Beth O.
Beth O.
I live in crest wood any senior classes in this area thanks. Beth ochoa
Posted: February 01, 2012 at 8:59 AM
Olivia T.
need more info on where and how to get it.
Posted: January 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM
Photo of Vanessa B.
Vanessa B.
I am interested as getting certified. Can you provide the information
Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Photo of Myrtie B.
Myrtie B.
I also want to gain in a course that offers certification as a Personal Care Attendant.I am currently doing hospice vol. work to help me reach my goals as a caregiver.

Myrtie Benton
Posted: January 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM
Cheryl V.
I would like to register for a class , I have a 18 year old son with autism ,and a 96 year young friend that I look after . Jan G said for $90 I could get certified . Could someone please help me .
Posted: January 08, 2012 at 9:12 PM
Penny B.
I'm very interested in classes had CNA, but expired need to retake test, but where. I'm in St. Louis, MO 63128
Posted: January 06, 2012 at 3:59 PM
Cynthia H.
Are there any classes in/near Henderson,NV?? Or in LAS VEGAS??
Posted: November 09, 2011 at 1:23 PM
Mary J.
hello usually go to nearest tech school.stop by nursing home an ask adm.or a cna there.stop by a senior care center.,there are lots of places to find information.cna classes run 3-6 times your state or nursing home will pay for classes.expect lifting,weekends,holidays,pulling.its not a easy job,

ive been a cna for 30 yrs.
Posted: October 04, 2011 at 8:46 AM
Angela G.
I am a eager to know more
Posted: September 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM
Jessica F.
Posted: September 12, 2011 at 3:10 AM
Photo of Gloria W.
Gloria W.
I am interested in learning and getting certified, how do I get started.
Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Kirsten D.
I would be interested,Kirsten
Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Marlene V.
I was a CNA for a long time i let it expire i am a caregiver and a childcare provider and i am interested in learning and get certified. Please send the information. Thank you
Posted: August 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM
Anita H.
am ready to take this course where and how do i start
Posted: August 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Photo of Jan G.
Jan G.
I have checked out this website. For $90 you can get certified.
Posted: August 17, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Marian E.
Marian E.
I am very interested in the certifications and classes for sr care. I am in the Orlando Florida area.Please email me names, prices and locations. Thank you
Posted: August 01, 2011 at 4:38 PM
Photo of Lezlie J.
Lezlie J.
Where do we find out what is required as far as the state we live in is concerned, and also since I have some certifications would like to know where you can find online classes.
Posted: July 24, 2011 at 11:52 AM
Pamela S.
I am Certified as a CNA/PCA/ABI caring individual with 10 plus years experience. I actually went back to school after 36 years years, I chose to change careers & love my line of work, very rewarding. Pamela S.
Posted: July 17, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Photo of Melody H.
Melody H.
i would like to learn more about the class.i have been a personal caregiver for 12 years.thank you,Melody
Posted: July 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM
Amber E.
I'm very interested. I've always wanted to work with senior citizens. How can I enroll?
Posted: July 08, 2011 at 8:31 PM
Brenda B.
Posted: July 07, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Patty L.
Patty, I'm very interested in the elderly certifications. Need more information on the where and how to get enrolled in classes
Posted: July 02, 2011 at 2:35 PM
Glorria V.
where can i find a local Senior Care class in my area. I would like to get certified.Thanks.
Posted: June 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Photo of Teresa S.
Teresa S.
Call the american red cross
Posted: June 20, 2011 at 7:00 AM
Photo of Carolyn S.
Carolyn S.
I took the class offered by a local owned franchise for Senior Care. I am good to go with respect to caring for the Seniors.
Posted: June 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Photo of Elizabeth H.
Elizabeth H.
i appreciate you information i am very interested in the course please
Posted: June 19, 2011 at 3:43 AM
hi,where I can take care senior class in Spanish, I live in Connecticut USA
Posted: June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM
Careta B.
can this class be done on line?
Posted: June 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM
Photo of Rebecca B.
Rebecca B.
i would like to get more information on senior care classes and how to be certified.i live in west frankfort ill. and also need to know how much classes will cost and where to take the classes and how the classes will take.thanku.
Posted: June 11, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Karen C.
Hi,Am also interested in being certified for Hospice care. Thanks
Posted: June 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM
Karen C.
Have been a Certified nursing asst.for a long time.would like to know more about senior care courses.
Posted: June 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM
Jalna B.
Hi i am very interst in taking the senior care class please let me know what to do thank you.

Posted: June 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM
Photo of Arisiai V.
Arisiai V.
Hi,I am intrested in taking the senior care course and certification classes.Iam livjng in inglewoodand wood like to go know where to start and the cost.thanks
Posted: June 06, 2011 at 6:18 PM
Kathy F.
I would like to know where to take the certification classes in Lawrenceville Ga. There are different certifications such as CNA1, CNA2, medications certifications etc. I would also need to know the cost of classes the length and hours etc. I am having difficulty finding this information out which suprises me having been in the healthcare industry for many years. I have relocated to this area from the midwest. Thanks!
Posted: May 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM
Photo of Virginia C.
Virginia C.
where can i get senor care classes in my area
Posted: May 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM
Photo of Maria M.
Maria M.
I very interested in to take senior care classes tell me where and how many month I have to be in a class
Posted: May 09, 2011 at 4:10 PM
Jaswein B.
Iwould like to take the senior care programs and classes can you please tell me how and hoe much it cost. thank you jaswein baker
Posted: April 28, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Nagwa H.
pls help me where can I get senior care courses and certificate in Atalanta, GA? Thanks
Posted: April 23, 2011 at 1:18 AM
senior care certification
Terrific article on a timely subject. The need for certified senior caregivers is only going to grow over time as people are tending to live longer. There are many facets to high quality caregiving. Safety of bothe the cared for and caregiver being chief among them. Another quality program and organization that you did not mention in your article is,which offers a quality professional caregiving program and ongoing support to their members at low cost.
Your website is nicely done and a good service to the community.
Posted: April 09, 2011 at 7:16 AM
Photo of Tiffany P.
Tiffany P.
I am very interested Senior Care programs and classes ...please tell me what i need to do
Posted: April 07, 2011 at 2:41 PM
Mary S.
It is wonderful to know you are all so interested in pursuing more training! A great place to start is by copying and pasting this link into your browser to find your local American Red Cross chapter: It may also be helpful to contact the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for information on programs in your area: This is a great resource for all things aging related. Lastly, The National Association of Health Care Assistants at is another website you will want to explore. I recommend picking up that phone and making lots of inquiry phone calls. With some due diligence and patience you will find the right training program for you. Good luck everyone!
Posted: March 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Linda H.
I too would love to have further training, as apposed to having years of experience, I want to be informed of upcoming training if you would inform me of this please. Thanks Linda Heard
Posted: March 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM
Photo of Agatha C.
Agatha C.
I, Agatha Campbell is interested in the Senior Care programs and classes especially around my area, Ewing/Trenton/Hopewell/Pennington etc. and would like to know how to get started, logistics and important information.
Posted: March 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM
Cindy M.
i am a certified home health aid, but i think i need to update my training with the red cross let me know when i can take my certificate class for home health aid and red cross training. thank you
Posted: March 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM
linda stanley
i linda stanley is very interested in the senior care programs and classes. would like to know how to get started.whatis needed,what classes totake ,where tolook thank so much
Posted: March 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM
ann L.
I to am very interested in the senior care programs and classes. Would like to know how to get started. What is needed, what classes to take, where to look. thanks so much.
Posted: March 03, 2011 at 7:05 PM
Photo of Mary S.
Mary S.
As is mentioned in the article there are lots of options for certification! Check out these websites for national programs:

The American Red Cross

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice

National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses

You can also do a search of local certification programs by contacting technical schools, nursing homes, and visiting nursing associations in your area. Another nationally recognized certificate is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) so be sure to ask about it!
Posted: March 03, 2011 at 2:12 PM
Photo of Lisa V.
Lisa V.
Posted: March 03, 2011 at 2:20 AM
Photo of Lisa V.
Lisa V.
Posted: March 03, 2011 at 2:16 AM
Cristina W.
CRiSTNA W. I am intersted in informations about elderly certifications class.thanks
Posted: March 02, 2011 at 9:12 AM
Cynthia H.
I'm very interested in the elderly certifications. Need more information on the where and how to get enrolled in classes.
Posted: February 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM
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