How to Become a Personal Assistant to the Elderly in Illinois

How to Become a Personal Assistant to the Elderly in Illinois thumbnail
CNA's assist the elderly with day-to-day activities.

If you want to become a personal assistant to the elderly, training as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) prepares you. A CNA may be employed at a home for the elderly, where he assists with feeding, bathing, moving, dressing and grooming residents. Or, he may work for a home health agency, tending to patients in their own homes. Working with the elderly requires training and in the state of Illinois your qualifications must include a passing score on the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Exam. Once you pass, you can pursue a career as a personal assistant to the elderly.

Instructions

    • 1

      Enter a CNA training program. These programs generally last six to 12 weeks, and are available at schools across the state such as the Illinois Valley Community College and Wabash Valley College. Entering one of these programs typically requires either a high school diploma or GED. The Illinois Department of Public Health does not approve online programs -- you must take your classes on an actual campus.

    • 2

      Complete your CNA training program to prepare for taking the Nurse Aide Competency Exam. While in your program, check the dates and times of upcoming exams using the Illinois Nurse Aide Testing website. Select a date and time and use the contact information provided on the site to register for the exam. The exams are held approximately once a month, though this varies by testing location. It costs $60 to take the exam and $30 to retake it if you do not pass.

    • 3

      Take and pass your written competency exam. This exam includes information about communication, basic nursing and personal care skills, residents' rights and social service needs.

    • 4

      Apply for CNA jobs. Part of the application process includes a criminal history records check.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2008, the median salary for nurse aides working in elderly care facilities was approximately $10.91 per hour. Between 2008 and 2018, employment in this field will increase an above-average 18 percent. Once you have met the above requirements, you are eligible for employment in a long-term care facility and may begin gaining career experience.

  • Do not take the exam until you are prepared -- if you fail three times, you are required to undergo your training again.

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References

  • Photo Credit Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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