The Senior Care Job Guide: Senior Care Job Satisfaction and Success

How to create job satisfaction and success

You've successfully identified a career in which jobs are available, figured out how much to charge, excelled in an interview, and now received a job offer working directly for a family or facility. If you anticipate that you can work well with the elder you will care for, as well as with the senior's family, or with your supervisor and co-workers at a facility, and can satisfactorily perform all the job requirements and be comfortable with the employment conditions, you'll probably decide to take the job. If you do, and if it is a long-term position as opposed to just a few visits, here are some suggestions to make the job experience a positive one for both you and your employer:

  • ask for a written contract that will specify expectations
  • set up a communication schedule with your employer that will facilitate discussion of  how the job is going That way you can resolve any issues that come up and make sure the job meets your own needs, as well as your employer's.

Contract

The contract should include:

  • a listing of exactly what you are expected to do and on what schedule
  • provisions for sick or vacation days
  • specification of how you will be paid, at what rate, and how often
  • the hours you will work, and whether or not they will vary from week to week
  • the length of employment -- is it one week, one month, one year, or does it depend on the health of the client?
  • how much notice either party requires for rescheduling
  • information about tax and health benefit payments
  • what terms will be required to end the contract
  • starting the job on a trial basis This will enable you and the employer to evaluate whether or not the job as planned after a set period of time and to terminate the contract, saving both parties a lot of hassle.

Communication

  • Establish an agreed-upon process for communication.Do you prefer to communicate with your employer in person or by phone? Or with a mix of both? Set up a frequent (weekly, biweekly or monthly) communication schedule so that you can resolve any issues that arise before they escalate.
  • Be sure you and your employer agree about job expectations and performance evaluations. The goal is for you to be comfortable on the job and for your employer to be comfortable with your performance.
  • Have a protocol for emergencies that might arise.

Know what to do in case of emergencies and have a backup plan (and a backup to the backup plan), as well. These are crucial elements of any good relationship between a senior provider and employer.

Good communication is the key to any positive job experience. By communicating frequently with your employer, you should be able to work out a mutually acceptable plan to resolve any issues either of you have with the job --  creating a win-win situation in which you have job satisfaction and success and your client receives the desired level of care.

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Comments (5)
Photo of Kathy T.
Kathy T.
In a situation where you see a client in the same clothes as she was when you left, there is nothing to do but clean them up. In a situation where you are cleaning behind the family, Kindly remind them that you are there to tidy behind the client but not the whole family. If the problem persists, contact Care.com for advice.
Posted: February 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM
Denise W.
I worked worked with an agency that just started and previous manager was never clear with me she just liked for me to keep guessing I kept trying to communicate with her but she would refuse to return my calls while I was still working with her , later I happened to find out she was making things up about me and lied to client about me I what else she lied to these people about I heard from one of the clients daughter that she was verbally abusive to her mother why did she tell me And not report herself?
Posted: April 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Rhonda A.
Working as I with older people, I know exactly how this young lady feels. Too many people are letting Mom stay at home just to save money and not for the love of their parents.Deborah, I agree with your assesment of the problem.But the young lady also needs to let them know [firmly] that she will not be held accountable for their neglect.What if your client has to go to the doctor and is diagnosed with extreme diaper rash? If they wont take care of their parents ,do you really think they'll admitt error and take care of you?Do a good job but do it right, even if it means changing jobs report theneglect. Remember we're all getting older and Icertainly would'nt want to treated badly or ignored.Do unto others as we BID them to do unto you.God's listening.
Posted: March 22, 2011 at 8:50 PM
Deborah W.
I would suggest you speak to the responsible person for this individual. Explain the health issue, the neglect, and the liability they face neglecting this individual. Do this for your person; before neglect turn into abuse then a bigger problem will form. Pray for this family to change before they face legal problems.
Posted: March 09, 2011 at 7:49 PM
Fatmatta A.
I had my last caregiver job whereby I was not jst taking care of her but also her whole family. I was working M-F and I would leave on Friday and come back on Monday and she will still be wearing the same clothes I
gave her on friday. She was supposed to be taken care of when I'm not there but it clearly wasn't happening.
There was so much going on.
What do you do in a situation like this? It gets tough when you need a job, you get taken advantage of
Posted: March 08, 2011 at 11:55 AM
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