Helping Your In-Home Care Senior Citizen Find A Job

So you're helping to take care of a senior citizen who has lived a long and fruitful live...and has grown bored sitting around the house all day! Although they do need some care and assistance, they are incredibly spunky and want to get back into the job market. Here's how you can help them.

Find a Job Appropriate For Your Senior

Take a moment to talk with your senior and honestly assess their capabilities. If they are limited to a wheelchair or have physical difficulties, they will be limited in what they can do. However, there is a wide variety of online jobs that they may be capable of performing, including:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Reviewing
  • Transcription
  • Contract work
  • Tutoring
  • Tax preparation

However, if they are more physically capable, they may be able to get certain types of contract or temporary work in offices or retail jobs in certain stores. The senior citizen greeter has become a beloved fixture in many large retail shops: for a gregarious senior, this is often the perfect job.

Writing A "Can't Fail" Resume

If your senior applied for (and received) an online job, you may not need to fill out a resume. However, some online jobs (and most out-of-home jobs) will require either an application or a lengthy resume. Unfortunately, your senior may not have worked for over 20 years and may have even forgotten how to write a resume. Help them create a great resume by following these tips:

  • Discuss their accomplishments (such as degrees earned and titles held) rather than the number of years they worked
  • Emphasize any skills they may have with technology, such as using the Internet to watch television or check e-mail
  • Focus on intriguing and useful skills they may possess, such as learning a foreign language or sign language, that may apply in their job
  • Highlight the most recent information and include any activities they were engaged in during retirement, especially non-profit, church, or charity activities

If your senior doesn't have much experience with technology, it's probably a good idea to teach them a few things and help them master it. Include those skills in your resume and their chances of being hired will go up.

Nailing the Job Interview

After a few weeks, your senior is likely to be getting some call backs for potential jobs. How exciting! And how terrifying! The job interview process may be the most difficult part of the whole thing for many seniors. Get them to follow these tips to achieve success in the interview:

  • Encourage them to break the "cranky senior" stereotype by showing positive energy and enthusiasm
  • Make sure they talk about modern technology and the ways they use it in their lives
  • Help them shave, clean up, and dress in a semi-formal fashion
  • Go over potential interview questions (such as "what can you bring to this company?") and come up with good answers that fit their skill set
  • Work on mastering a firm handshake and a great smile
  • Highlight any great achievements they had in the past (such as perfect attendance) that makes them a role model for other employees

Hopefully, these tips help your senior get out there and get the job they wanted. Getting out there and contributing to society, even in a small way, may help raise their mood and increase their quality of life. As a caregiver, you can't ask for much more than giving them the help they need to succeed. Contact local professionals, such as those from Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, for further assistance.