Elder Care Services
What is Elder Care?
An elder care professional is someone who has the necessary skill and accreditation to serve the well-being of the elderly by catering to their at-home, outpatient and preventive healthcare needs as well as assisted living requirements.
An elder care professional is essentially a healthcare generalist in the fields of nursing, physiotherapy, phlebotomy, diagnostics, geriatrics as well as personal care-related tasks such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, etc. Additionally, having a specialized degree in any one field can really further one's growth prospects.
What does an Elder Care Professional do?
1. Preventive and General Healthcare:
2. First Aid and Medical Emergency Management:
3. Mobility Assistance & Transportation:
4. Personal Care:
5. Caregiving Emotional Support:
6. Mediation and Coordination:
What are the skills required?
1. Experience & Knowledge of Elder Care: This field is a combination of healthcare, scientific medicare, alternative therapy, hospitality, and home services. Hence, it requires sufficient experience and knowledge of dealing with the needs of elder people.
2. First Aid and Hospitality 101: An elder care professional must be flawless in the basics of first aid and the principles of hospitality, while treating the patient like a revered guest, as compared to a patient in a hospital.
3. Customer Relations: ElderCare is a profession that involves continuous and consistent face-to-face engagement with elderly people, especially the customer. Hence, it is important for the eldercare professional to possess exceptional levels of responsiveness, empathy and communication skills.
4. Basic Awareness of other forms of Treatment: At Home elderly patients also tend to seek a lot of alternative medicine or traditional treatments. An elder care professional is also expected to be aware of Ayurved, Yog, Unani and Naturopathy treatments, in addition to the treatments prescribed by a legitimate doctor.
Who can become an Elder Care Professional?
In the majority of cases, there won't be any requirements to have academic qualifications like HSC, SSC or degrees. However, most employers would prefer you to have some First Aid skills and an Vocational Training in Health and Social Care. You must have passed in your 12th grade boards examination.
Top colleges offering courses on Elder Care
The medical community of India speculates that 80% of critical elder care activities pertain to geriatrics while a comprehensive study of the needs of the elderly can only be conducted by Gerontologists.
Unfortunately, very few accredited organizations and institutes provide specialized training in this field. Fortunately, credible certification in nursing, emergency Medicare, physiotherapy and patient management can allow you to access the ever-growing career opportunities in this field.
Higher education in India does provide certain avenues for specialized certification in Elder Care or Hospice.
Popular Institutes offering a degree in Elder Care
1. Mitraniketan - Diploma Course in Geriatric Care
2. National Institute of Social Defense - Old Age Care
3. Nightingales Medical Trust - Geriatric Care Training
Prestigious Institutes offering a degree in Elder Care
1. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) - Diploma in Gerontology
2. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) - Certificate in Geriatric Care Assistance (CGCA)
3. Multiple ITI’s and Union Government listings also cite Certification in Elder Care from Time to Time.
The emergence of nuclear families, rapid urbanization and migration, higher mortality and new healthcare challenges, have all contributed to an exponential growth in demand for elder care professionals.
Although remuneration of elder care professionals varies from city to city, most professionals get lodging, food and transport facilities or fees, exclusive of their monthly payments.
How much does an Elder Care Professional make?
According to the recruitment website indeed.co.in, the average monthly salary over the last 36 months for Elder Care Assistants, has been estimated at Rs 16,389. This also indicates that the Elder Care profession is part of the organized sector and the average monthly salary is comparably higher than the Minimum Wages stipulated by States and Union Government of India, indicating a sustainable career that can help build credentials as a healthcare professional.
What are the Books and study material available?
Elder Care and caregiving has evolved in recent years at a rapid pace. You can say that India has become a fast implementer of the latest best practices in this field. Naturally, this career demands high levels of awareness and information from those aspiring to be caregivers. Hence, it is advisable to read the following books as a preparatory step in the right direction:
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss
Grace for the Unexpected Journey: A 60-Day Devotional for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Caregivers
How to Care for Aging Parents: A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues
The Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help
Major healthcare giants like Apollo Healthcare, Fortis, Wockhardt, and Medicity have already instituted special divisions to cater to customer acquisition and customer service in the field of elder care, while hospitality majors, as well as alternative medicine and pharma companies, have begun entry into this segment. Lately, many startups have also emerged in this field and they have a strong outlook and investor sentiment attached to them. IT is safe to say that the profession of elder care is only going to grow.
India, a country with a population of over 135 crore people, has over 10.4 crores elderly. By 2026, this population is expected to grow to 17.3 crores.