Employment at assisted living facilities involves assisting elderly, ill and disabled people many times inside the patient’s home. Assisted living employees may need to understand therapeutic care and social work, but it mainly depends on the needs of the assisted living facility. The best candidates for this job will have experience in professional environments involving health care and social work.
Even though assisted living employees need to be very caring individuals, they do not need extensive health care education or background to pursue such a job. Each state has its own requirements regarding certification. Many times the job will involve helping individuals with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and eating. The most important quality the job demands is interpersonal communication skills.
The model for Assisted Living Employees is defined differently by every organization. The work is sometimes independently contracted directly by an individual needing assistance. Other times the job is part of a staff network of care providers. The term “assisted lving” has no nationally recognized definition, which is why it is used differently by various organizations. Some organizations require assisted living employees to pass certain tests regarding basic nutrition and basic health care.
Personal care assistants need to have mature qualities, so they just can’t be hired randomly off of the internet without doing a basic background check. The main qualities necessary involve the individual’s ability to adapt, be tolerant and be patient when providing care for others. The candidate should not have a criminal background and should be both mentally and physically fit. The candidate should also understand basic CPR.
One of the key places to find appropriate employees is at colleges and universities where students are majoring in social work and health care. Some states such as South Carolina, provide lists of personal care workers who are available for hire, through their Health and Human Services Department. Your organization can learn about assisted living hiring strategies by attending industry trade shows such as the ALFA Conference & Exposition in Phoenix in May.
A key resource for learning about assisted living organizations and professionals throughout the United States is AssistedLivingFacilities.org. The site provides a directory of over 36,000 assisted living facilities, which can be searched by finding facilities near your zip code. You can also network with job seekers on SeniorHousingJobs.com, in which you can research resumes. Using such a targeted job site can help improve hiring quality.