How to become a caregiver in Pennsylvania

How to become a caregiver in Pennsylvania

May 22, 2024

Why to Become a Caregiver?

Becoming a caregiver in Pennsylvania begins with acknowledging the immeasurable love and dedication caregivers pour into their roles. They are the unsung heroes of our healthcare system, offering unwavering support to those they hold dear. Through programs like the state’s Family Caregiver Support Program, efforts are made to lighten their burdens and offer solace. Let's join hands in supporting these compassionate souls as they continue to uplift the spirits of those they care for, embodying the true essence of love and empathy.

Importance of Caregivers in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the state's 1.5 million caregivers contribute a staggering $22 billion, marking a $3.8 billion increase since 2019, as per recent AARP data. This highlights the growing complexity of family caregiving, urging action to address the challenges faced by those caring for loved ones. Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director, underscores the crucial role of family caregivers in healthcare, advocating for their support. AARP Pennsylvania championed Act 20 of 2021, expanding the state’s Family Caregiver Support Program and creating a guide to assist caregivers. They urge lawmakers to back Governor Shapiro's budget proposal, which includes an additional $10 million for services to older Pennsylvanians, ensuring caregivers get the backing they deserve.

Types of private caregiver jobs

  1. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

  2. Medical Staffing 

  3. Professional In-home care service providers 

  4. Personal care assistants

Qualities of a good caregiver

Becoming a good caregiver requires a unique blend of qualities that extend beyond technical skills. Patience is paramount, as caregiving often involves repetitive tasks and requires a calm demeanor in challenging situations. Compassion is essential for connecting with those in your care on an emotional level, fostering trust and understanding. A touch of humor can lighten the mood and bring joy to both you and your loved one. Being present means giving your full attention to the person you're caring for, listening attentively and offering support. Detail orientation ensures that no aspect of their care is overlooked, from medication schedules to dietary preferences. While empathy is crucial, setting boundaries is equally important for maintaining your own well-being. Cooperation with other caregivers, healthcare professionals, and family members enhances the quality of care provided. Being assertive allows you to advocate for your loved one's needs effectively. 


while also respecting their autonomy. Lastly, physical fitness is essential for meeting the demands of caregiving, whether it's assisting with mobility or performing tasks that require strength and endurance. Incorporating these qualities into your caregiving approach can make a significant difference in the lives of those you care for. For more information on qualities click here.

Certification and Training Requirements for Caregivers in Pennsylvania 

  • Eligibility Requirements for Family Caregiver Support 

  • Each caregiver support program has unique eligibility criteria, typically requiring applicants to be adults (18 years or older).

  • Applicants must typically be the primary caregiver for an individual with a chronic illness, disability, or medical condition necessitating care and assistance at home.

  • Care provided can include medical or personal care aimed at enhancing the individual's quality of life.

  • It's advisable to thoroughly research the eligibility requirements of each program by visiting their respective websites.

  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)

  • In Pennsylvania, CNAs are required to complete a criminal background check and fulfil training and examination prerequisites.

  • Training typically involves 80 hours of coursework, including 37.5 hours of clinical practice.

For more information on training and requirements click here.

 Search for Job Opportunities

Once you've obtained the necessary qualifications and certifications, explore job opportunities in your area. Utilise online job boards, network with professionals in the field, and also reach us out  at Brightstar care to inquire about available positions.


Becoming a caregiver in Pennsylvania is a fulfilling journey that requires dedication, compassion, and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. By following these steps and continuously honing your skills, you can embark on a rewarding career path that allows you to provide invaluable support and care to those in need.