Healthcare Workplace Spotlight: Personal Care Group Homes

woman cleaning the floor near man sitting on sofa reading a book
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Entry-level healthcare workers can secure employment at a variety of facilities that offer direct care services, including group homes. A personal care group home, also referred to as a residential care group home, is a private house within a residential community that is staffed with direct care personnel who provide around-the-clock assistance with activities of daily living to small groups of four or more adult clients who live there.

Personal care group homes are generally set up to replicate homelike atmospheres that appeal to clients and families who prefer cozier environments and more personalized services than those offered by large corporate-owned nursing homes and franchise chain assisted living facilities. Instead of living with 120 other nursing home residents, a client at a personal care group home would have anywhere from three to nine housemates.

Most personal care group homes provide services such as meal preparation, laundry, transportation, housekeeping, medication administration, housecleaning and custodial care services. Custodial care is defined as non-medical direct assistance with activities of daily living such as showering, dressing, eating, grooming, toileting and mobility. Entry-level direct care workers who staff these group homes provide help with custodial care.

It is normal for personal care group homes cater to specific subgroups of clients. For instance, some group homes are only occupied by clients who are adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, whereas other homes have indigent clients who receive Medicaid. Still, some personal care group homes only accept financially secure elderly clients who are privately paying for their private or semi-private rooms with cash.

Most of the individuals who provide the direct custodial care to clients at personal care group homes are referred to as direct care workers. To become a direct care worker, a prospective candidate should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as valid state certification as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA).

Even though it is possible to obtain a job as a direct care worker without a high school education or CNA certification, the rate of pay for this position will almost always be substantially lower without the aforementioned credentials. Therefore, it is advisable that entry-level healthcare workers obtain certification as a CNA prior to applying for positions as direct care members of staff at personal care group homes.

Call (682)626-5266 to enroll in two-week nurse aide (CNA) training classes at Legacy Healthcare Careers, a small vocational school in the Fort Worth area suburb of Richland Hills, Texas.

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