Healthcare Jobs in 21st Century Assisted Living
The Indian counterpart to the American Baby Boomer generation, that segment of the population in the 60+ range, is well-traveled, well-heeled, and ready to settle in for a comfortable retirement. Projected to number in excess of 240 million people by 2050, Indian seniors are the fastest-growing demographic on the planet. The question is, to where will they retire that meets their expectations?
Not every adult or couple, with or without children, is excited about the prospect of having their aging parents move in with them. The independently-minded Indian Boomers aren’t too thrilled, either. Nor do these individuals relish the idea of being banished to an “old age home.” Singh Vachani, CEO of Antara Senior Living, may have come up with a satisfactory, or even desirable, answer.
Antara is part of the new generation of active senior living residential communities in India. This new vision in senior living, where residents are invited to choose everything from the view from their balcony to the architectural layouts of their new homes, has opened up a wealth of jobs in assisted living.
The picture is very similar in the United States, where the transition of the Baby Boomers to their senior years and increasing numbers of individuals becoming afflicted by Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia have placed extra demands on those professions associated with caring for the elderly.
Roles in assisted living
The types of jobs for people working in an assisted living environment range from part-time certified nursing assistants, or caregivers, positions at the director’s level, and everywhere in between. As might be expected, the greatest number of jobs is at the CNA level.
Certified Nursing Assistants
Nursing assistants provide basic care to residents in long-term assisted care facilities. The levels of care they provide differ from patient to patient, depending on the findings from a comprehensive assessment, which is used to inform a detailed care plan. Priority is given to providing a homelike atmosphere, promoting and protecting the rights of each resident, and helping each one to maintain as much independence as they can manage.
Their day to day tasks may involve preparing meals and helping residents eat, monitoring vital signs, assisting with mobility when necessary by helping residents into and out of wheelchairs onto beds and chairs, and discussing and recording the residents’ health concerns.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a CNA in May 2017 was $27,520. At that time, a CNA working for a government facility earned a median annual salary of more than $32,000.
While the wage packet for an orderly is of the same order of a CNA, their role is somewhat different. Orderlies tend to perform more administrative and domestic support, as opposed to personal care and medical monitoring. They will help to keep the facility clean and in good working order, transport patients from their rooms to medical appointments, change linens and keep supplies topped up.
Assisted living cook
Among the senior population, residential care cooks have to prepare diets based on different religions, ethnicities, and medical limitations. One patient may require Kosher food, while another may require a special dietary regime such as low salt, low sugar, gluten-free, nondairy, vegan, nut-free, or pureed meals. The median wage for a cook in May 2017 was $11.52 per hour or $23,970 annually.
These are just a few of the jobs that are projected to grow in demand over the next 10 to 20 years.