One of your main concerns as a caregiver hoping to relocate to the US or as a US citizen hoping to enter the caregiving field would be the availability of caregiving opportunities in the nation. This would have been a valid concern a few years ago.
But as of right now, those worries are unfounded because there will be a sudden increase in the need for caregivers in the United States.
Nothing happens without a reason and you might be wondering where this increase in demand is coming from. For one, an increase in the quality of healthcare, and there is an increase in the aging populations across various countries with advanced healthcare. The USA is one of these countries and this increase in the aging population has led to an increase in the demand for Caregivers for the elderly.
To paint a clearer picture, Quartz estimates that by 2030, there will be about 100,000 Caregivers shortage for the elderly. We should also add that asides from the elderly, newborn children as well as disabled individuals still need care and the current Caregiver workforce will not be enough to cater to all of these needs.
This shortage is also driven by the poor salaries of Caregivers and the stress that comes with it. For these reasons, Caregiving is not a very attractive profession for Americans. However, it is important to keep in mind that an increase in the demand for Caregivers will almost definitely lead to an increase in the financial benefits.
Anyways, this article would help you take advantage of this opportunity. You’d learn the Caregiver requirements in the USA as well as other information that is related to the Caregiving profession.
Responsibilities of a Caregiver
Before we get to the Caregiver Visa Requirements, let us talk about the roles and responsibilities of a Caregiver. It is important to know this as you can use this information to improve your skills as a Caregiver.
- Companionship: This is important for Caregivers working with the elderly. Older adults tend to have feelings of loneliness and very often it leads to depression and other mental health disorders. To achieve this, you can create time for games, chat with them over tea or coffee, or even take walks with them.
- Assessing Medical Needs: Assessing pain levels, scheduling medical appointments, and managing attacks and chronic conditions are very important skills a Caregiver must possess. With this, they also help doctors understand better what the patient is going through.
- Care Plan: You would need to create a plan to manage the home and health responsibilities you’ve been saddled with. You can draw up this plan with the help of a medical team. With this, you should be able to manage all the important tasks and responsibilities.
- Assisting Personal Hygiene and Care: Whether you are providing care for a child, disabled of any age, or an older adult, sometimes you have to help them with their hygiene. It is more prominent when dealing with older adults and disabled people who can’t do so for themselves. In times like this, patience and tolerance are very much needed.
- Meals: This goes beyond preparing meals for the patient, you need to tailor their diet to help alleviate or manage their conditions. Older adults, for instance, tend to lose their appetite and hence get fewer calories than required. It is important to ensure their meals are filled with as much nutrition as possible to make up for the times they fail to eat.
- Medication Assistance: A lot of us struggle with our medication and sometimes need reminding or serious coercion before we take them. This also applies here as Caregivers have to ensure their patients take their medication at the right time.
Caregivers also have to assist with mobility and transportation for patients with limited mobility. It is also important Caregivers have basic housekeeping skills like cleaning and repairing.
Next up, we are going to highlight the qualifications needed to be a Caregiver in the USA.
Qualifications to Work as a Caregiver
To work as a caregiver in the USA, you don’t need a lot of qualifications. Of course, you have to have a visa that allows you to work if you are an immigrant. Asides from that, all you need is to follow the Caregiving requirement for the state you want to work in.
Usually, these requirements just you to have one of the following certifications;
- Certified Assistant Nurse (CNA) Certification
- Certified Home Care and Hospice Executive (CHCE) Certification
- Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) Certification
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a course related to the Caregiving field, that is an added advantage to help you get jobs. If you don’t have one, however, it won’t be much of a bother as most Caregiving jobs don’t ask or require one. If you want to know more, you can visit Glassdoor to find out more about the certifications needed.
USA Caregiver Requirements for Host/Employers
Before we get to the requirements, we need to talk about the process the host/employer has to go through before he/she can be allowed to hire a foreign caregiver.
First, the employer has to decide what kind of visa they want to apply for to get their foreign Caregiver. They have to choose between the J-1 Visa for Caregivers or the H-2B Visa.
For the J-1 Visa, it means the employer wants to take advantage of the Au-Pair program. In this case, the employer is not wishing to hire a specific worker. The family requesting the Au-Pair Visa has the following responsibilities
- They must have an infant between the age of 3 months to 18 years that needs taking care of
- The Au-Pair Caregiver cannot work more than 45 hours per week and not more than 10 hours a day.
- The employer and his/her family must be US citizens or permanent legal residents and must speak fluent English
- The employer must provide a monthly stipend of $195.75 per week for 52 weeks. This figure can be higher, depending on the state of residence of the employer
- The employer must provide up to $500 towards the education requirement at a college or university for their Caregiver
- The employer must also provide a 2 weeks vacation for their Au-Pair
- Lastly, they must make a 12-month commitment,
The Au-Pair in return has the following responsibilities;
- His/her age range has to be between 18 and 26
- They must speak fluent English
- They have to be a non-smoker
- They have to pass a criminal check from their country of origin
- Must have proof of at least 200 hours experience of in caring for infants
- They must sign a 12-month commitment.
For more on this, you can visit the Au-Pair website.
The H-2B Visa is used when the employer wants to hire a specific Caregiver. They will have to prove to the American Government that they have not been able to find a local worker to fill the position in question. The requirements are
- Not being able to find a qualified local worker
- The employment of the foreign national must not negative impact on the wages or working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers
Application is a rather tedious one as employers have to
- Submit a temporary labor certification (Form ETA-0142B) to the US Department of Labor and a Job order to the State Workforce Agency
- Then they have to submit a completed Form I-129 to the USCIS. They must also submit their original temporary certification.
- Once the USCIS approves their application, they must have a foreign worker they plan to employ. The prospective employee has to submit an application form called DS-160 to the US Department of State at an embassy or consulate in their home country.
For more information on this, you can visit the Farmer’s Law website.
I believe with this article; you now know US Caregiver Visa requirements for both employers and employees. You should be able to take advantage of the coming rise in demand for Caregivers in the United States while helping a family or medical facility help their elderly and very young children.
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