How to Become a Non-Medical Home Care Business Owner

Demand for non-medical home care continues to grow with the elder population, especially as the large baby boomer generation ages. Non-medical home care providers make it logistically possible for elders to stay in familiar surroundings rather than uprooting them from their homes before it's necessary. This rewarding work keeps those who need assistance vibrant and engaged in the greater world. As a home care provider, you will enjoy the flexibility of setting your own rates and hours, choosing for whom you work and the freedom and excitement of launching your own venture.

Consider your qualifications. You must be compassionate, dependable, well groomed, committed and honest. As a non-medical home care provider, you are given a tremendous responsibility to care for someone, whether elderly, ill or disabled, and keep their best interest at heart at all times. The job requires a clear background check as well as a valid driver’s license and clean driving record. Non-medical home care providers often perform tasks such as light housework, grocery shopping and meal preparation, transportation, personal hygiene help and companionship.

When interviewing to take on a new client, be prepared to offer a full complement of valuable services to offset any concerns about your independent status. Meet the client's primary caregiver and family in person and answer all their questions as specifically as you can. Make clear exactly what tasks you are willing to perform on behalf of their loved one and list for them what your hourly rate includes. (Determine whether mileage will be part of your cost and at what rate if you are driving the client to appointments.) Outline your salary requirements, the method and frequency by which you will be paid. Offer to submit to a CORI (criminal background) check and provide an array of personal and professional references that will attest to your reliability and code of ethics.

Forge your client relationships by utilizing the most important skill you have: listening. You will get a workable understanding of the primary caregiver’s and family’s expectations—and be prepared to meet those expectations. But the most valuable piece of your job is getting to know the people you are caring for. They will have preferences for what to eat, when to shop, when to watch a favorite show, when to talk, when to enjoy the silence. You provide a crucial piece of your clients’ well-being and as you work, focus on fostering trust and mutual respect. Developing a long-term relationship with your clients enriches their lives. You bring them a sense of the outside world, give them a consistent visit to anticipate and bolster their self-worth as you listen and engage in what they have to say. It also will give them much-needed feelings of security, because someone reliable knows what they need and how to make it all happen.

Tip

Be sure to inquire whether licensing is required for this type of work where you live, as it differs based on locality and what types of services you plan to provide.

    Tips

  • Be sure to inquire whether licensing is required for this type of work where you live, as it differs based on locality and what types of services you plan to provide.

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About the Author

Shelagh Braley has 11 years' experience as a writer, copy editor and managing editor for newspapers, magazines and websites. She was organizing expert-in-residence at www.bomoms.com (Boston Globe's parent web site) and blogs at www.linearthoughtsorganizing.blogspot.com. She received a journalism degree from Northeastern University in Boston.