Senior Care Certifications 101
Learn where to get senior care certificationsand why they're important.
Tiffany Smith, Senior Associate Editor
Articles> Senior Care Certifications 101
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.


Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite

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(20) Comments
Beverly O.
Beverly O.
I have been an Home care provider ever since I was a young teenager, first with my own family and then a nursing home, but it was when I moved to Florida I learned of a greater service here helping and assisting families with their parents. I worked and went to night school to become a Medical Assistant, then when times became harder, I became a Certified Home Health Aide. The medical field has several updates and is constantly changing so it's so important to keep up to date all your certifications. But I saved the best for last, the relationships you have with your clients, families, and friends are priceless. I love my work and I will continue to serve all in need. This is my calling and I thank the Lord for the ability to help all.
January 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM
J. Taylor
J. Taylor
There are two state organizations that certify caregivers in Southern California - CMEDHI (www.cmedhi.com) and IHSS. Both of these programs are low cost and quick! I think that the CMEDHI program takes 2 weeks to finish and the IHSS one takes about a month. Good luck in your certification search everyone!
November 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Lori Klein
Lori Klein
I'm interested in getting set up on your online courses. I am a caregiver for an agency
Where we are required to take continue education courses. And most of all, I want to learn
October 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM
Oslyn C.
Oslyn C.
I live Maryland and recently received my diploma for HHA. Which organisation do I apply to for certification.
September 18, 2014 at 9:32 PM
selah
selah
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.
July 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM
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
June 5, 2014 at 8:35 PM
Deborah W.
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!!!
March 20, 2014 at 6:34 PM
Sonia
Sonia
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.
February 25, 2014 at 7:27 AM
Milldred B.
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
February 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM
judith
judith
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.
February 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM
Rosemarie W.
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?
January 28, 2014 at 12:47 AM
Frances E.
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.
August 31, 2013 at 11:10 PM
semakula kamiat
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.
August 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Resani H.
Resani H.
thanks for all the informations
February 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM
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.
December 4, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Joshette J.
Joshette J.
I live in Columbus ohio and I am very interested in getting a senior care certificate where can I go
November 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM
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.:(
November 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM
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.
October 3, 2012 at 10:29 PM
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!!!
October 3, 2012 at 7:50 AM
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.
September 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM

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