4. Personal and Home Health Care Aide
The nitty-gritty: If you're suited to it, there's plenty of need for paid workers at private homes, assisted-living communities, memory-care centers for Alzheimer's patients, hospice facilities and traditional nursing homes. It's possible to be hired directly by the patient or the patient's family. Your job is to assist elderly, ill or disabled people with routine activities ranging from bathing and dressing to running errands. Other duties might include light housekeeping, companionship, grocery shopping, meal preparation and medication monitoring. While the work is rewarding, it can be taxing mentally and physically. Some positions require lifting patients and lots of time on your feet. Ask about the requirements of a specific client before signing on.
The hours: If you're working at someone's home, three or four hours a day, two or three days a week, might be all they require. These jobs are often booked through a home-care agency. You might opt for a part-time position in an assisted living facility or hospice.
Median pay range: There tends to be a lot of turnover, so job openings are plentiful, especially helping the elderly in-home as well as at assisted-living and hospice facilities. Expect $7.68 per hour to $12.45; $35-plus depending on experience and certification.
Qualifications: Training is generally on the job by registered nurses if you're working for an agency or in-house facility. You will undergo formal training and pass a competency test to work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. Requirements vary from state to state. Some employers may require a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certification. A criminal background check is standard. CPR training and a driver's license are helpful too. Contact local care facilities for job openings and training requirements. For overall home care information and a nursing job board, go to the American Association of Home Care. Compassion, self-control and a sense of humor are the nuts and bolts. Your motto: Lend a hand.