Caregiver Requirements in Florida
Caregiving requires an impeccable balance between heart and soul and education and training. While professional caregiving requirements in Florida may vary between agencies, the following are the most common things prospective agencies look for when hiring new employees.
Florida’s Professional Caregiving Requirements
Florida’s caregiver requirements exist for a reason. We need to know our caregivers have the physical, mental, and emotional stamina to excel in a variety of roles: companions, light housekeepers, chauffeurs, errand runners, medication reminders, and other responsibilities.
Working with seniors requires a certain level of education and training around geriatric healthcare. This includes knowledge about the mental and emotional senior realm in addition to age-related physical issues. Then, there are the caregiver requirements that cannot be taught in a classroom.
For that reason, we divide our caregiving requirement list into two categories: those that are acquired, learned, and achieved (paper-based) and those that are innately a part of our senior caregivers (heart- and soul-based).
Click here to review a more comprehensive list of senior caregiver services.
Paper-Based Florida Caregiver Requirements
The following are some of the paper-based, or more “nuts-and-bolts,” things we look for in prospective caregivers.
You must be 18 or older
Caregivers must be legal adults, which means age 18 or older. In truth, most agencies prefer that working caregivers are 21 or older so they have more life experience, maturity, driving experience, and can legally purchase anything their clients may have on their grocery lists.
A high school diploma or its equivalent
Literacy and communication skills are a must, so we only hire caregivers who have a high school diploma or proof they have successfully passed a high school equivalency test.
Clear criminal background check
Our clients need to know their senior loved ones are in safe and honest hands. We run complete criminal background checks on all of our applicants. This is a gold-standard screening tool used by every credible, licensed senior caregiving agency in the nation.
Clean DMV records and valid driver’s license
Caregivers are often called upon to provide transportation services for their clients and families. This may be to take the client to medical appointments, religious services, and social engagements or to run errands and do weekly grocery shopping. We’ll run DMV reports each year to ensure our prospective and hired employees maintain 100% clean DMV records and a valid driver’s license.
Reliable car with valid insurance
Caregivers use their own vehicles to provide transportation services. Therefore, it’s essential employees have a reliable car and up-to-date insurance policies that meet our minimum liability limits. We track insurance expiration dates and request proof of updated insurance as needed.
Our agency provides paid mileage and driving time but that’s not the case for all agencies. If that’s important to you, clarify those stipulations when applying for a job.
Clear health check
Caregiving is a physically and emotionally demanding job, and our clients are vulnerable. Therefore, we’ll require proof of a clear health check after completion of a full physical by your preferred healthcare provider. We can provide recommendations if you don’t have a physician of your own.
Caregiver training/certification (optional)
Candidates who have already completed professional caregiver training/certification that qualifies with Florida’s Department of Health are certainly on the right path. But we are also open to hiring the best candidates for the job and providing high-quality education and training to support their work with our clients.
Whether you have proof of successful completion, or you need training, it must comply with Florida state caregiver training requirements, which include:
- 12 hours of professional caregiver training by an accredited/state-approved training center (the best programs offer closer to 40-hours of education and training)
- Topic-specific ongoing training required annually for senior caregivers working as home health aides and homemaker companions
- Continued training around client-specific or condition-specific subjects such as Alzheimer’s Disease & Disorder Training
- Education and training around the ergonomic considerations pertaining to lifting, transfers, toileting, and other caregiving tasks that require physical engagement with the client
- Current CPR and first-aid training and certification
Again, we appreciate seeing this type of training or work experience on our prospective caregiver’s resumes but we are 100% open to providing that training for you if you are the right fit for this specialized work and our agency.
We understand that everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. However, we cannot hire caregivers with any criminal record, a recent history of drug/alcohol abuse, or who test positive for infectious diseases. This is why we run thorough background and DMV checks, require health certificates, and expect proof of education and training prior to hiring caregivers.
Heart & Soul-Based Caregiver Requirements
The most important requirements (aka, “qualities”) we look for in our pool of caregiver applicants are characteristics that can’t be quantified on paper or taught in the classroom.
We believe senior caregiving is a calling, and those who have the call typically have the following character traits:
- Compassionate heart. This work is tiring and it requires an incredible amount of patience. As a result, your compassionate heart must always prevail in your thoughts, actions, and words.
- Good communication skills. You’ll be communicating with your clients, their families, and your fellow caregiver team verbally and in written form. Good communication skills are essential.
- Attention to detail. Your job requires careful attention to details such as the client’s appointments and social calendar, medication instructions, dietary restrictions, etc. You’ll also be responsible for completing daily reports to create relevant future care plans.
- Time management. Timeliness is essential. Caregivers must be on time, all the time – no exceptions. Caregiving shifts can feel like a timeless space so managing time wisely ensures you remain on schedule with your client and your daily tasks.
Do you feel the call to serve others? Do you have what it takes to be a compassionate senior caregiver? We’d love to learn more about you and explore whether or not you’re a right fit for our agency.