The number of people over the age of 65 is increasing as more baby boomers get older, and the number is expected to double in about 20 years. While this means that there will be a lot more older people, it also opens up lots of opportunities for those who love working with the elderly. Apart from these opportunities, working with the elderly in this fast-growing field can be very rewarding because you know you will be making a difference in people's lives. Keep reading to find out the available and upcoming opportunities if you love working with the elderly.
Audiologists diagnose hearing and balance problems and help come up with treatment options for their clients. Audiologists can work in hospital and clinic settings as well as in educational environments. The demand for audiologists has increased over the past decade or so as the number of people requiring help with age-related hearing loss has increased. They are also increasingly being taxed with creating better hearing assistance products and keeping up with auditory technology as it matures.
Fitness instructors work with single clients or groups of clients to provide personalized fitness training. Personal trainers are becoming increasingly important in helping seniors remain healthy and meet their health goals, especially because we now understand the relationship between exercise and staying mobile and living better, comfortable, and longer lives.
Social workers act as advocates of their clients ensuring that their best interests are always upheld in any decision or matter that concerns them. That might be legal issues, medical procedures, family conflicts or even the execution of a will in very specific cases. Social workers can also help the elderly deal with mental issues and offer the emotional support they need to cope with the realities of aging.
Social workers can also help family members learn how to deal with an aging loved one and can also be hired as primary caregivers to take care of their clients, keep their house in order, and provide companionship.
As a registered nurse, you can choose to specialize in geriatric care which will help you provide the best care for the elderly. In your role as a registered nurse, you will take care of your patients physically and mentally while helping them improve and deal with the ailments and conditions associated with old age, such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Registered nurses who want to work with the elderly need a nursing degree, they need to have passed the NCLEX-RN, and they need to have obtained the necessary licensing.
You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree by enrolling in a 4-year program. However, lots of universities now offer accelerated programs and second-degree options for those who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. For these people, universities like Elmhurst University offer online ABSN programs where you can earn a BSN degree in 16 months. You can then apply for all certifications, licenses, and specializations at a college of your choice before you get hired to work with the elderly.
Home Health Aide
Home health aides assist seniors with daily tasks such as cooking, bathing, driving, errands, and chores. In many ways, they offer services, care, and help that are similar to those provided by assisted living homes. Some home health aides might also be tasked with observing and reporting on mental and physical health, client safety, teaching family members to care for their patients, and teaching clients how to care for themselves. They might also be responsible for ensuring a safe environment and sending patient information to a physician.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses provide basic healthcare under the supervision of a medical doctor to their clients or patients. Licensed practical nurses can work in elderly homes, assisted living facilities, home healthcare settings, or nursing facilities where they help with various tasks including maintaining patient records and performing tasks often left to aides such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
Accounting and Estate Planning
As seniors near retirement, prepare wills or think about how they will distribute their property to their loved ones once they pass away, they need help from an accountant or estate planner. An estate or financial planner can help senior citizens make the best use of their assets so they can remain financially stable and independent during their retirement.
Estate planners can also offer advice about the power of attorney, advance directives, or creating and updating wills. Seniors who would like to move after their retirement might also require their accountant to work with a real estate agent who has enough experience helping seniors find property to retire on or downsizing.
Occupational therapists treat injuries, disabilities, and illnesses through the use of everyday activities as therapeutic tools. By doing so, they can help the elderly recover, improve and develop the skills they need to live a comfortable life. They can also help their patients regain the ability to do things like eating, dressing, or cooking. By working with geriatrics at their homes, occupational therapists can help them cope with their lives and routines with little to no trouble.
Rehabilitation counselors help clients with emotional and physical disabilities to live independently. When they work with elders, they help them manage and overcome social, personal, and professional challenges as well as age-related disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors use advocacy and psychological counseling to help their clients improve their mental and physical health.
Certified Nurse Assistants
Certified nurse assistants assist patients and clients to complete any tasks that they have trouble with, such as dressing or bathing, as well as basic healthcare. The roles of certified nursing assistants change from setting to setting. However, most certified nurse assistants work in patient homes, nursing homes, and elderly care centers.
Working with the elderly calls for understanding, patience, and having the right skills to help them with whatever they need. There are different career options for those who love working with the elderly, and you can choose one that suits you best depending on where you feel you would do the most good.