How to Become a Personal Care Assistant?

Caregivers Philadelphia PA

Becoming a personal care assistant, sometimes known as a personal care attendant, is a rewarding career path filled with opportunities to make a real difference in someone’s life. Personal care assistants provide essential help to people with varying degrees of physical illnesses and health-related responsibilities.

This could be within the comfort of their home, nursing homes, residential care facilities or even adult day care centers. If you’re considering this career path and wondering how to become a personal care assistant or how much you can make, read on.

Understanding Personal Care Assistant Jobs

Personal care assistant jobs involve assisting individuals with their physical needs, personal hygiene, and, in some cases, light housekeeping duties. This typically involves working with elderly, disabled or chronically ill individuals who need help with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation.

Furthermore, personal care assistants may also provide some level of companionship to those in their care, offering conversation and emotional support. They often work in a client’s home but can also work in institutions like residential care facilities. The daily tasks can be physically challenging and emotionally demanding but can also be rewarding.

The Role And Responsibilities of PCA

1. Personal Care

Personal Care Assistants, a key component of the Healthcare Industry, perform a variety of essential tasks. Their role includes everything from helping clients with personal grooming activities such as bathing and dressing to preparing meals—always keeping dietary restrictions in mind – and assisting with medication reminders. Their presence ensures that individual needs are met, making them a pivotal part of personal care.

2. Mobility Assistance

PCAs, working within the scope of daily living and personal care assistance, may often need to assist individuals with mobility issues. This can involve helping them move around the house, aiding them to get in and out of bed, or accompanying them outside for ambulatory exercises, walks, or medical appointments. Their role is critical in ensuring the everyday mobility needs of those they care for are met in a safe and secure manner.

3. Health Monitoring

Another critical role of a PCA’s basic care is monitoring the client’s health by checking vital signs, observing any changes in behavior or health status, and communicating these findings promptly to the health care provider or family.

4. Household Chores

To make the client’s living space comfortable and safe, PCAs often perform light household duties. This may include cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and even pet care if necessary.

5. Emotional Support

A critical but often overlooked aspect of a PCA’s job is providing emotional support. By building a strong, trusting relationship with clients, PCAs can provide much-needed companionship to those they care for.

6. Recreational Activities

To improve the client’s quality of life, PCAs can assist with or organize recreational activities. These activities may vary from reading, games, gardening, or even accompanying the client to social gatherings.

7. Medication Management

While PCAs are not typically authorized to administer medication, they can help remind clients when it’s time to take their prescribed medication and report any side effects or concerns to the supervising healthcare professional.

8. Care Plan Execution

PCAs follow a personalized medical care plan that a healthcare professional typically develops. The PCA assists in implementing this care plan and regularly updates it according to changes in the client’s condition or preferences.

9. Communication

A PCA often acts as a liaison between the individual they are caring for and their family, healthcare professionals, or nursing assistants. They communicate important updates, changes, or needs that might require professional medical attention.

Personal Care Assistant

What Are the Personal Care Assistant Requirements?


Typically, the minimum education level required is a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states or care facilities, however, may need candidates to have completed certain healthcare-related coursework.


Acquiring the necessary skills to become a personal care assistant often involves basic training. Certain jobs might only demand on-the-job training, but many prospective employers favor those candidates who have undergone formal training. Formal training typically includes understanding basic nutrition, the process of aging, infection control, and providing long-term care.

Once you’ve finished your basic and formal training, make sure to highlight these experiences on your Personal Care Assistant resume.


If you’re wondering how to become a PCA, some positions may require you to earn a certification. This often involves passing a competency exam, which assesses your ability to provide adequate care and assist with daily activities.

Health Exams

Several states mandate health exams or screenings not only to confirm that the assistant is free of communicable diseases but also to check for any chronic illnesses. These mandatory screenings could impact job prospects for some individuals, especially in sectors requiring direct, frequent interaction with other people.

Regardless of the results, it’s important for all workplaces to adhere to universal precautions to safeguard everyone’s health and wellness.

Background Check

As you will be working closely with individuals who may be vulnerable, companies will typically perform a thorough background check.


The average personal care assistant needs a variety of technical skills as well as soft skills. They need to be caring, patient, and understanding. Good communication and problem-solving skills are also a must. In some cases, being able to cook or perform household tasks on top of other personal care assistant duties will be requested.


Gaining relevant experience is a vital step on how to become a personal care assistant. Although it may not always be a prerequisite, some providers show a preference for experience in a related field. This could involve acquiring basic training in direct care, honing caring skills while looking after children, attending to elderly individuals, or assisting those with disabilities.

These experiences in direct care can provide a good foundation on how to become a personal care assistant, as it often relates to handling day-to-day tasks effectively and providing care to patients in a dedicated and compassionate manner.

How Much Does a Personal Care Assistant Make?

The income of a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) can greatly vary and is determined by several factors.

These factors include:

  • Education And Training Standards. Although only a high school diploma or equivalent is generally required, further education, training, or certification can increase your value in the job market and, consequently, your potential earnings.
  • Experience. Like many other professions, experience plays a substantial role in determining a personal assistant’s salary. Assistants with several years of experience, particularly those who specialize in caring for individuals with specific needs, are likely to earn more than newcomers to the field.
  • Size and Setting of the Employer. Personal care assistants who work in large, urban hospitals or long-term care facilities usually receive higher compensation compared to those working in smaller, rural facilities or providing in-home personal care tasks.
  • Location. The region or state where you are working can significantly influence your salary. Typically, states with a high cost of living, like New York or California, pay higher wages compared to states with a lower cost of living.
  • Specialization. PCAs providing specialized care for patients with severe illnesses and disabilities, or those demanding a higher level of skill or knowledge, tend to make a higher wage.
  • Private Clients. Assisting private clients in their own living facilities often leads to higher earnings. Some families choose to hire a PCA privately rather than utilize an agency, and this can result in a higher wage, albeit without the benefits that come with being employed by an agency.

Unlock Your Career In Personal Care Now at AmeriBest Home Care

Being a personal care assistant is undoubtedly a demanding job that requires a good blend of technical and interpersonal skills. However, helping someone maintain their independence and improve their quality of life makes this career incredibly rewarding. No two days are the same in personal care assistant roles, which adds to its appeal for those who strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others each day.

The rewarding nature of this job is hard to match. Beyond providing professional support, you eventually become a critical part of someone’s life. The job requires empathy, resilience, and patience, but the personal satisfaction and benefits you receive can be immense.

If you’re considering this career path and are looking for guidance on providing personal care services, we’re here to help. Whether it’s information on PCA job duties, skills, or employment requirements, we can guide you on the right path. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Navigating the Options: How to Choose the Right Philadelphia Home Care Agency

Right Philadelphia Home Care Agency

When it comes time to get additional care for your loved one, you want to choose a Philadelphia home care agency that offers the very best. But without a reference point, it can be difficult to find the agency best suited to your loved one’s needs. This article will discuss what to look for in a home care provider so you can make the best choice for your loved one.

What to Look for in a Philadelphia Home Care Agency

Service Options

Families must ensure the agency they choose is suited to their loved one’s needs. Some seniors require basic care, such as meal preparation, cleaning, and mobility assistance.

Others have more advanced needs for medical conditions. They may require vital sign monitoring, medicine administration, and other types of specialized care.

Find out what services the agency offers to ensure they provide the care your loved one requires.


Affordability is not only about the rates the agency charges. Agencies can offer other services that make care more affordable.

For example, they may work with Medicaid to provide government-funded services. They may even train family members so they can get paid to care for loved ones.

Families should also look for agencies that accept their insurance and offer private pay plans that allow relatives to split the bill.

Skilled Workers

Find out about caregiver skill level. Do the aides receive ongoing training? Are they required to hold a certification to perform certain tasks?

A skilled caregiver is more likely to provide your loved one with the care and attention they require.

Referrals, Reviews, and Recommendations

Modern technology makes it possible to look online and learn about the level of service a Philadelphia home care agency provides. Research reviews and customer ratings. Determine if you feel the agency will be the right fit for your loved one.

Ask friends and family if they have an agency they would recommend. They may provide a trusted opinion.

You can also ask the agency if they can put you in touch with past and current clients. They will provide insight into the agency’s quality of service.

Caring, Compassionate Caregivers

It can be difficult to determine whether caregivers are caring and compassionate until you work with them. However, if you meet with the agency and staff, you will get an idea of their level of empathy and understanding. Your gut will tell you whether they will provide the loving care your senior relative deserves.

AmeriBest is a Preferred Philadelphia Home Care Agency

You can spend hours, days, or weeks navigating your home care options or save yourself time by choosing AmeriBest first. AmeriBest has been rated one of Pennsylvania’s top five home care agencies. We take a patient-centric approach, ensuring each client receives the personalized care they deserve.

We make care more affordable by allowing family members to get paid for caregiving. We offer competitive pay and an impressive benefits package. Caregivers train in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.

Contact us for all your loved one’s home care needs.  


Comparing Care: A List of Home Care Agencies in Philadelphia, PA

Comparing Care: A List of Home Care Agencies in Philadelphia, PA

When it comes to finding the right home care agency in Philadelphia, PA, the choices can be overwhelming. To make your decision easier, the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) compiled a list of accredited home care agencies in the area: HERE.

Creating a List of Home Agencies in Philadelphia, PA 

When it comes to finding the right home care for yourself or your loved ones in Philadelphia, PA, the array of options can be overwhelming. Understanding the different types of care available is crucial in making an informed decision that best suits your specific needs. Let’s explore some of the key home care services in Philadelphia and how they can benefit you as you compile a list of home agencies in Philadelphia, PA.

1. Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care centers are an excellent choice for seniors who require assistance and social interaction during the day but can return home in the evenings. These facilities often provide meals, recreational activities, and sometimes health services, offering a safe and engaging environment for seniors.

2. Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

CCRCs are a unique option as they offer a tiered approach to aging, combining independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care. This setup allows seniors to transition between levels of care as needed, all within the same community.

3. Home Health Agency

For those who require medical care at home, Home Health Agencies provide services like skilled nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. This option is ideal for individuals recovering from illness, surgery, or managing chronic health conditions.

4. Registry Services

Registries act as intermediaries that connect families with home care professionals. They offer flexibility in choosing caregivers and schedules, making it a good option for those needing customized care arrangements.

5. Hospice Care

Hospice care is focused on providing compassionate care and comfort to individuals in the final stages of a terminal illness. This type of care prioritizes quality of life and can be provided at home or in a hospice facility.

6. LIFE Program

Living Independently for Elders (LIFE) is a unique program in Pennsylvania that provides a comprehensive, all-inclusive care package for older people. The program includes medical, social, and daily living support to help seniors live independently for as long as possible.

Embarking on this journey to find the right care can indeed be daunting. At AmeriBest Home Care, we understand the complexities involved in navigating these choices. We are always here to answer your questions and guide you through the process of selecting the best care option in Philadelphia, PA. Whether it’s understanding the specifics of each service or determining what fits your unique needs, our team is dedicated to assisting you every step of the way.

Things to Consider When Picking a Home Healthcare Agency 

When choosing a home healthcare agency, there are several key factors to think about to ensure that you or your loved one receives the best possible care. When it comes to a home healthcare agency, one size does not fit all. Each agency is unique, and what works for one patient might not meet the complete needs of another. 

  • Evaluate the agency’s reputation and reviews. Always take the time to read feedback from current or past clients to gauge the quality of care and customer satisfaction. 
  • Verify the agency’s licensing and accreditation status.
  • Consider the range of services offered and needed.
  • Research the qualifications and training of the staff. Always ask about their experience and expertise, particularly for conditions or needs specific to the patient.
  • Choose an agency that is responsive and maintains open, clear communication with clients and their families. 
  • Consider the cost and compatibility with insurance plans or Medicare/Medicaid to ensure the services are financially manageable. 

Carefully assessing these aspects will help in selecting a home healthcare agency that is reliable, professional, and best suited to meet individual care needs.

Philadelphia, PA is home to a diverse range of home care agencies, each with its unique specialties and services. AmeriBest HomeCare, with its commitment to quality and personalized care, is a top choice among these. We are one of the top 5 agencies in PA with a stellar reputation, continuous caregiver training, and an IMPRESSIVE benefits package. Call 1800-HOMECARE with any questions – we are here for you.

No matter, if you reside in Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, or anywhere nearby, our dedicated and professional team, is at your service. We’re your reliable choice for top-notch in-home senior care services. Reach out to AmeriBest Home Care today to discover more.


Unlocking the Benefits: Understanding Medicare Coverage for Home Care in Philadelphia

Medicare Coverage for Home Care in Philadelphia

When your loved one needs more excellent care, finding a way to care for them at home can be the most comfortable option. Many times, home care is also more affordable than enrolling your loved ones in a long-term care facility. While more affordable, it still can place a financial burden upon the individual who needs care and the caregiver. Luckily, Medicare in Philadelphia, PA, offers coverage for these services to ensure equal access to care for all!

Medicare offers a variety of programs that cover home care for Philadelphians. AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia wants to help you understand the available programs and eligibility for home care services. 

Original Medicare

If you are already eligible for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a combination of the two, then specific home health services are available in the case that you require part-time skilled nursing and have trouble leaving home or that leaving home is not recommended, given the individual’s condition. 

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, offers more flexibility in terms of home health services in Philadelphia. Because Medicare Advantage is issued through approved private insurance companies, available services will vary based on the plan. Call your plan provider to determine what home health services are available to you.  

Medicare Home Care Services

Medicare in Philadelphia, PA, covers home health care services that are deemed reasonable and necessary based on the individual’s diagnosis. Your provider will determine the care required. Included services may include: 

  • Intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Home health aide services 
  • Personal care
  • Social services
  • Medical supplies

While your provider will make the original determination of what should be included in your care plan, your home health agency will perform an initial assessment to determine if any adjustments are needed. The home health agency you work with will routinely assess the individual’s needs and communicate any changes in their condition to the provider. 

Medicare Home Care Eligibility

While you may be qualified for Medicare, there are specific criteria for receiving home health benefits. Most importantly, your health provider certifies that you need home health services as part of your care plan. Other eligibility requirements include: 

  • A need for part-time skilled nursing, physical therapy, and/or home health aide services
  • The use of a Medicare-certified home health agency 
  • Your provider certifies that you are homebound
  • A face-to-face appointment with the individual receiving care within a predetermined time frame. 

AmeriBest Home Care - 2021 Resolutions for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Certified Medicare Home Care

To receive home care services from Medicare in Philadelphia, PA, you will need to work with a home health agency that is Medicare-certified. 

AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia is a high-quality, non-skilled, Medicare-certified home care service working with families in the Greater Philadelphia area. We work with many insurance companies, including Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. 

Our staff is trained to help your loved one feel comfortable at home despite any long-term conditions or disabilities. Contact us to learn more about the home care services we offer and get the care and support that you need and deserve. 


Quality Living: Home Care vs Senior Care Communities in Harrisburg, PA

Senior Care Communities vs Home Care

In the heart of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg stands out as a city that deeply values the welfare of its senior population. When it comes to senior care in Harrisburg, PA, families are often faced with a critical decision: opting for home care services or choosing a senior care community. This choice is vital in ensuring the best quality of life for their elderly loved ones. 

Both options, home care and senior care communities, offer unique benefits and cater to different needs and preferences. Understanding these options in detail can help families and seniors make an informed decision that aligns with the best interests of their senior family members.

Senior Care Communities vs Home Care 

Below, we will examine the benefits of senior care communities vs. home senior care services in Harrisburg, PA. 

Home Care for Seniors:

  • Personalized Care: Tailored services to meet individual needs and preferences.
  • Comfort of Home: Seniors can stay in their familiar environment, maintaining their routine and independence.
  • One-on-One Attention: Direct and dedicated care from a caregiver.
  • Flexibility: Care schedules can be adjusted to the senior’s lifestyle and family needs.
  • Cost-Effective: Potentially less expensive than full-time residential care, especially for those needing part-time support.

Senior Care Communities:

  • Social Engagement: Opportunities for social interaction, activities, and community living.
  • Comprehensive Services: Access to a range of services, including medical care, meal preparation, and housekeeping.
  • Safety and Security: Designed environments with safety features and 24/7 staff availability.
  • No Maintenance Worries: Eliminates the burden of home maintenance and related tasks.
  • Peace of Mind: Families can rest assured knowing their loved ones are in a safe, supportive environment.

Senior Care, Harrisburg, PA: A Personal Touch in Familiar Surroundings

Home care services in Harrisburg provide personalized care in the comfort of one’s own home. This option is ideal for seniors who cherish their independence and the familiarity of their home environment.  

Home care includes a range of services, from basic assistance with daily activities, such as bathing and meal preparation, to more specialized medical care.

One of the primary advantages of home care is the customization it offers. Typically, all senior care plans are tailored to the individual’s specific needs, ensuring they receive the right level of support while maintaining a sense of autonomy. 

Staying at home can be less disruptive for those who find comfort in routine and their personal space. However, home care requires a good support system and may demand more involvement from family members or friends. 

With home senior home care, it’s important to consider the potential need for home modifications to ensure safety and accessibility. The installation of a handicap ramp or bathroom modifications is often needed. 

Senior Care Communities: A Hub of Social Interaction and Comprehensive Care

Senior care communities in Harrisburg present a different approach. These facilities offer a community-centric environment where seniors can interact with peers and engage in various social activities. 

The communities provide a comprehensive care system that includes:

  • Medical support
  • Meal services
  • Assistance with daily living activities
  • Social functions

The major advantage of senior care communities is the all-inclusive nature of the services provided. These communities are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of seniors.

Many senior care communities offer amenities such as:

  • Fitness centers
  • Group activities
  • Transportation services

The setting of senior care communities can be particularly beneficial for seniors seeking social interaction and those who require more intensive care.

However, transitioning to a senior care community can be a significant change, especially for those who have lived in their own home for many years. It’s important to consider the individual’s comfort with such transitions and their preference for community living.

home health care agencies harrisburg pa

Making the Right Choice for Your Loved One

When deciding between a senior care community or home senior care in Harrisburg, PA, consider factors such as the level of independence desired, the need for personalized care, socialization opportunities, and the overall health condition of your senior loved one. Each option has its merits, and the choice ultimately depends on what best suits the individual’s lifestyle and care requirements.

Discover More About Senior Care in Harrisburg, PA 

In Harrisburg, PA, families seeking quality senior care have robust options to consider. Whether it’s the personalized touch of home care or the comprehensive support of a senior care community, the priority is always the well-being and comfort of your senior loved ones. Choose AmeriBest Home Care for a brighter and more comfortable future for your senior loved ones in Harrisburg. Reach out to AmeriBest Home Care today to discover more. 


What Is Companion Care For The Elderly?

Companion Care For The Elderly

As the golden years set in, tasks that once felt effortless can gradually become daunting burdens. It’s a tough truth that our beloved seniors often grapple with challenges such as reduced mobility, feelings of isolation, and the complexities of managing chronic illnesses independently.

These obstacles can cast a shadow over their quality of life. But don’t lose heart. There’s hope to help them navigate these rough waters while encouraging their cherished independence—the companion care services.

You might be wondering what exactly companion care for the elderly entails. And more importantly, how can it bring a positive change in the lives of your loved ones? 

What Is Companion Care for the Elderly?

Elderly companion care is a gift of friendship and support provided by dedicated companion sitters. These caring experts offer a hand with everyday tasks that are often tough in the golden age due to age-related issues. The kind-hearted companion sitters for the elderly extend help beyond typical medical boundaries.

Their services include light housekeeping, arranging transport for appointments, and offering gentle reminders for medication. They’re even there to rub shoulders for a card game or to cheer our elderly at social gatherings.

The beauty of this service is that it combats feelings of loneliness in the elderly by offering consistent companionship, uplifting their spirits and improving their mental wellbeing. These services, together, form the essence of non-medical elderly companion care.

Companion Care

Who Can Benefit From Companion Care Services?

Seniors With Limited Mobility

Aging is often accompanied by a decrease in mobility. This can stem from diseases like cardiovascular conditions or simply declining muscle mass due to age. Elderly companion care services are crafted to be an essential pillar of support for these individuals, making once tough tasks much more manageable again.

Seniors at Risk of Social Isolation

Isn’t it comforting to know you’re never alone? For seniors living away from family or by themselves, feelings of isolation can creep in. These feelings can cloud their golden years. With companion sitters for the elderly services, caregivers offer more than care; they offer friendship. Their emotional well-being is our top priority.

Seniors Living With Chronic Illnesses

Living with a chronic disease can be an uphill battle. Companion care providers are trained not just to offer support but consistency as well. They are here to regularly check in, provide relief for families, and ensure that the well-being of your loved ones is always monitored.

Those Experiencing Cognitive Decline

This is a reality for many seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A reliable and caring companion care worker can instill a sense of routine and offer assistance where necessary, striving to make the journey a little less stressful.

What Is Involved in Companion Care for the Elderly?

  • Assistance With Everyday Activities. Companion care for seniors involves aiding them in day activities—from house cleaning and medication management to grooming. It is not hands-on care like bathing and feeding, but it involves everyday tasks.
  • Social Activities. Companion care also involves engaging the elderly in social activities, whether board games at home or social events organized by senior centers and community centers.
  • Medication Reminders. Companion caregivers can ensure that the elderly take their medication on time and correctly. They help with medication management, reminding seniors to take their prescriptions and adhering to any particular instructions.
  • Emotional Support and Companionship. Companion caregivers provide emotional support, reducing feelings of anxiety and loneliness and helping seniors maintain positive emotional health.
  • Transport to Appointments. Whether it’s a medical appointment or a social event, companion caregivers provide convenient transportation and ensure the elderly are not missing out on necessary engagements.

How Much Does Companion Care Cost?

The average cost of elderly sitter and companion care varies depending on various factors such as the location, the care tasks required, and the duration of services needed.

However, many insurance plans cover the cost of companion care, and some care agencies even provide caregiver listings for independent contractors, helping the one who pays for companion care for the elderly to negotiate and manage the financial aspects of this type of care more proficiently.

How to Choose the Right Companion Care

1. Professional Qualifications and Background Checks

The first step in finding the right companion care is to search for qualified professionals. These are individuals registered with care agencies, or sometimes independent contractors, with appropriate training in companion care.

Whether you’re choosing through professional caregivers or considering independent contractors, checking their qualifications assures you they are equipped to take care of elderly people properly and responsibly.

Aside from professional qualifications, a crucial part of the selection process is confirming they have been vetted appropriately via a background check. This gives you, as the family, the peace of mind knowing your loved one is in safe hands.

2. Experience With Elder Care

Having the right qualifications is one thing, but direct experience with elder care is another significant consideration. Someone who has previous experience working with seniors can better understand and cater to their unique needs. They are more equipped to handle age-related concerns, from physical limitations to chronic illness or cognitive decline.

3. Personalized Care Plans

Finally, a reliable companion care provider should be prepared to offer a personalized care plan, catering to your loved one’s specific needs and preferences. This plan shows that they understand and respect that each senior is unique and has different requirements to enhance their quality of life. The care plan should be flexible enough to adapt to any changes that might occur with the elderly’s health status or preferences.

Whether they require more assistance with daily activities or social events or have new medical appointments to keep track of, the care plan should encompass these evolutions.

Choose AmeriBest Home Care for Compassionate Elderly Companion Care

Ensuring a rich and fulfilling life for your loved ones as they age is at the heart of what we do at AmeriBest. We are experts in delivering non-medical companion care unique to your elderly loved one’s needs. For those in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, or Allentown, PA, consider us your reliable partner in providing sophisticated care for seniors.

Our dedicated caregivers are ready to provide the essential support, companionship, and care your loved ones deserve. We’re here to keep them comfortable, engaged and living life to its fullest.

Contact us today at 1-800-HOMECARE and explore together how our professional companion care services can enrich your loved one’s daily life. With AmeriBest, your loved ones are always in caring hands.