Most people who work as family caregivers work for free. It’s a way to ensure a loved one gets attentive and sympathetic care. And you don’t have to worry about whether your family member will get along with and be safe in the care of a stranger. But it comes at a price. Time spent caring for a family member for free often equals time away from a paid job.
But family caregiving doesn’t have to be a financial drain. Here at Casmir Care Services, family caregivers are paid staff.
As November is National Family Caregiver Month, I took a moment to talk with Chinyere Dunkley, our Director of Human Resources, about what we look for and how you can become a paid family caregiver through Casmir Care Services right here in Philadelphia. Here’s what she told me.
One of our most common openings is for Direct Support Professionals. We offer competitive wages and health benefits to select applicants who are family members of adults with an intellectual or mental health disability. The work involves providing daily living support to individuals in Philadelphia. The work can be full-time or part-time. Shift work is required, and you must have reliable means of transportation.
What family caregivers do
Our family caregivers have jobs that always offer a mix of tasks. Common services our family caregivers provide include:
- Buying groceries/teaching how to make purchases at the store
- Cooking/monitoring with cooking in the kitchen using appliances
- Cleaning the house
- Doing laundry
- Teaching money management
- Teaching travel safety
- Teaching socialization (like how to make eye contact when having a conversation)
- Teaching personal hygiene
- Getting the individual dressed for the day/teaching how to dress and choose weather appropriate dressing
- Teaching personal information
- Assisting with showers
- Meal preparation
- Supporting with community activities and locating useful local resources
- Helping transfer the individual in and out of bed
- Making medical appointments
- Talking with doctors, care managers, and others to better understand the individual’s needs and what, if anything, could be improved
What Casmir seeks in its family caregivers
Successful family caregivers at Casmir share certain qualities, skills, and abilities in common. Those who do best tend to be people who are patient, flexible, compassionate, innovative, honest, and empathetic. It helps to have good communication skills so that you can advocate for those you care for effectively. A positive mindset also helps. We are always on the lookout for people who are encouraging and supportive.
And if you have good problem-solving skills, you’ll likely do well here. Most importantly, we look for people who are passionate about our company mission (as stated on our website) and are willing to learn and grow with us.
The application process
The whole process from the moment you start your application for a job at Casmir to starting a job can be as short as one week. First, you’ll have to fill out our application. If you qualify, we may proceed to an interview. If you’re qualified, you can then get paid training before beginning work at one of our locations. Note: Before Casmir hires you, you first have to undergo a criminal history check, a child abuse clearance, and a physical/TB test.
Each caregiver undergoes two days of intensive paid training that focuses on how we provide services and what goes into making sure individuals in our care stay healthy and safe. Training covers not only our policies and procedures, but also how to deal with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of the health and safety-related training includes learning how to respond if the individual experiences a seizure. First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (which involves chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing) are also important parts of our training.
As a Casmir family caregiver, you can expect to get further training either in-person or online. And when you run into a problem or are stumped by a situation, help is never far away. We encourage you to turn to your supervisors and Human Resources to get help with resolving problems.
Of course, not all our staff are family caregivers. Sometimes a family reaches out to Casmir for a caregiver. But no one in the family is in a position to step up and fill the job. When that’s the case, Casmir can provide a caregiver immediately.
Grow with our company
We pride ourselves on the fact that our staff can grow with the company. One way is to be promoted from Direct Support Professional to Site Supervisor. Of course, the people who earn this type of promotion demonstrate great human relations skills, creative problem-solving, and compassion in their day-to-day work.
If you’re interested in applying for a family caregiving or a non-family caregiving position with Casmir, do reach out to us. You can apply online, email us HR@Casmircares.com to inquire about employment with us, or come to one of our employment open houses. We are hiring! Find us on Facebook or Instagram for details about the next one. We are always looking to grow our work family of caregivers.