Basic Caregiver Duties – Helpful Guide
Learn about basic caregiver duties and responsibilities to help you choose the right type of care provider for your family member or loved one
We’ve been in your shoes: you need to find a care provider for a loved one, but you’re not quite sure if a caregiver is the right choice. This article will shed some light on the basic caregiver duties and responsibilities, and the kind of help that they can provide.
Non-medical caregivers offer assistance with a variety of daily living activities that patients cannot safely perform by themselves. These activities range from personal care, in-home senior safety tips and assessments, to outdoor walks and transportation.
Generally speaking, there are two types of non-medical caregivers: family caregivers and professional caregivers. Family caregivers usually provide care and support for an elderly friend family member. They typically help with basic daily tasks. Professional caregivers, on the other hand, are trained and licensed professionals who are paid to assist patients with non-medical activities. They can be home care aides (HHA or CHHA) or certified nursing assistants (CNA).
Caregivers are an excellent alternative to skilled nursing centers, considering that the majority of seniors prefer to “age in place” (to age at home).
“One person caring for another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn
In the United States, it is estimated that a whooping 85% of all caregivers are unpaid family members caring for a relative or a friend. This percentage translates to about 45 million unpaid caregivers. With aging population set to double by 2030, it is necessary for home care agencies to work with families. This will help them become more responsive to the needs of the elderly. Furthermore, in-home care agencies must ensure a meaningful and productive life for their patients. And finally, they must relieve family caregivers of some of the burdens associated with caring for a loved one.
At Start of Care Home Health, our caregivers agree that providing care for another person is a most gratifying experience. It comes with great responsibility, but also brings tremendous satisfaction and joy. Caregivers provide patients with the support they need to live a comfortable life. Their home assistance services typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Physical care (medication reminders, grooming and personal care);
- Emotional care (companionship, reading, talking);
- Practical care (transportation, doctor visits, grocery shopping).
Below is a breakdown of the basic caregiver duties. Keep in mind that no two caregiver jobs are alike. Being able to adapt to the special needs of each home care client is an important part of caregiving:
- Grooming and personal hygiene – services like bathing assistance, dressing, shaving, fingernail and toenail care, brushing teeth and more.
- Companionship – whether it’s listening to a patient’s stories, watching TV together, providing care for a pet, reading a book out loud, or simply holding a patient’s hand. Companionship services are some of the most important duties of caregiving.
- Meal planning and preparation – ensures that the patients receive proper nutrition.
- Medication reminders – a vital service, especially for those patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, who are at risk of forgetting to take their medication.
- Transportation and patient transferring – making sure the patients arrive safely to their doctor’s appointments, providing safe transportation for running errands or social visits.
- Light housekeeping – services such as dish washing or throwing away spoiled food ensure that patients have a clean and safe home environment.
- Shopping assistance – activities such as grocery shopping or running small errands.
- Exercising – helping patients with light exercise assistance.
- Outdoors activities – whether it’s a long walk in the park or just sitting on a bench together, most patients benefit greatly from being outdoors on a regular basis.
Read more about the home care services that our caregivers can provide and how they can help your loved ones live comfortably and stay healthy at home as they age.