What do you think of when you think of a professional? People trained in the fields of medicine? Law? Sports? Educators?

Seems to me that whatever your profession is, if done well, could deem you a professional.

Sometimes we view professionals in some sort of hierarchy, but in reality I think it’s a much more level field.

Let’s talk about a group of professionals who, at times, may not be recognized as such — even by themselves: Caregivers.

We talk a lot about family caregivers in this space, and will be doing so from time to time. These are the family and friends who help care for another person without monetary compensation. And there are many, many who quietly go about the business of caring every day.

This time out, however, we’re looking at paid professional caregivers. Caregivers who are trained, have had background checks and certifications as Home Care Aides, CNAs, etc. Usually there is an initial training period and then ongoing training to maintain certification.

There may also be opportunities to expand training in specialized areas such as working with people who have dementia, mental health issues, chronic conditions and so on.

Caregiving is their profession and they’re in the biz because they care.

They may be working in someone’s home. They may be working in an Assisted Living residence. They may be working in Adult Family Homes.

They may be working weekdays. They may be working weekends. They may be working nights. One thing is certain: They are working where help is needed. Those who are on the receiving end are people, so — like all of us — live each day, 24/7. (I have yet to find someone who only lives weekdays from 9 to 5.)

Another variance is that some caregivers work for an agency designed to provide the services. Others work for the aforementioned “facilities” or residences. And still others work as Independent Providers, who are contracted, trained, background checked, certified, but work more or less as independent contractors.

For contacts or more information. Call any of the numbers at the end of the column, and we can help make the connection.

One more thing: Thank you for caring!

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

www.o3a.org

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