A great idea for a student job is to learn to provide elderly care. Good quality help for the older people is difficult to find and it is fairly easy to come up with ideas to provide support and companionship as an assistant.
It’s a Win-Win for both!
The elderly not only need physical help, but a visit from a young student provides contact and verbal conversation that helps prevent loneliness.
The student can earn some income to help save or pay for college expenses
How to Provide Help for the Elderly
Sometimes older people will be in denial, refusing to admit that they could use some help, so we need some ideas on how to approach them.
Family members might try initiating the idea of student help by telling their loved one, “If you offer the child next door a job, you will be providing a wonderful learning experience.”
It’s a little reverse psychology. Now, the elderly persons might view themselves as the one’s providing (instead of needing) the help.
Of course, students can initiate these opportunities as well. Try phone calls, neighborhood flyers, and ask the people you know for referrals.
What Type of Work is an Elderly Assistant Job?
Here are some ideas on how to help the elderly and earn an income:
Pet care: walk the dog or empty the litter box.
Play Games: Nothing gets the mind going faster than playing a good game of cards, chess, monopoly, backgammon, etc. Remember to set a time limit and continue the game the next day.
Watch a movie: Check out a favorite movie from the library and watch it together
Books: Read a book out loud, do crossword puzzle books together, or joke books
Computer assistant: Assist with email, Facebook, etc.
Small errands: to places like the grocery store, dry cleaners, post office, or photocopy store (assuming the student drives)
Paint her nails: (See video below)
Cleaning Tasks: bathrooms, vacuuming, load the dishwasher, take out the trash
Shower assistance: (For a teen, we prefer to only see this assistance if it is a family member – such as a child helping a grandmother.)
Walking Companion: One of our favorites. Just meet the elderly person and take a walk around the block or to a nearby park. Getting out of the house and conversation are such a benefit and so enjoyable for the elderly.
Live in Job: Consider a live-in job for a student in college. This would significantly help with room and board, while providing companionship for the older person.
Visit a Friend: In some cases you might be able to escort the elderly to his or her friend’s house, but usually this works better for students who can drive. Either bring the elderly person to the friends house or pick up the friend and drive them to visit in the elderly person’s home. You might also take both out to lunch or dinner.
Visit a School Performance: Take the elderly person to any school event like a musical play, band performance, or sport event.
How Much Can I Make at an Elderly Assistant Job?
Students should make at least minimum wage. Add up the time spent on the job from start to finish and charge the minimum wage per hour or slightly more.
For example: When my (middle school age) daughter emptied the kitty litter box every day for a week, she was paid $5 a week. She would receive slightly more if she was asked to take out the trash or do a few dishes. Receipts were provided, earned income documented, and thanks to this elderly help, she began a Roth IRA. It was a win-win for both sides.
There will also be unforeseen experiences that educate teens. Look at this teen’s experience with the elderly:
Gifts for the Elderly
When holidays and birthdays come around, students might receive a bonus tip.
Students might also look for a gift for their elderly boss.
Try adding a handmade card for a special touch.
The woman my daughter worked for (80+ years old) loved to receive stuffed animals that would dance or make funny jokes when you squeezed their foot. The special thing about a gift like this Snoring Pig, is it increases communication. Every future visitor to the house will be asked to squeeze the hand or leg and the elderly person will get a real kick out of watching each reaction.
More helpful gift ideas:
Can you think of more ideas on how we can help the elderly? ~ add them to the comments below. Funny Elderly Birthday Card Idea
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