At one point or another, most people will either be caregivers or need a caregiver. As we age, support from others may become necessary to relieve some of the burdens of aging; that’s when an in-home caregiver helps. A typical day for a caregiver consists of everything from meal planning to laundry. Ultimately, your day revolves around providing care, companionship, and assistance. However, the caregiver duties you perform on a daily basis are reliant upon their needs, health, and ability to do things on their own.
Typical Duties of In-Home Caregivers
A caregiver, by definition, is someone who provides care for another person, usually senior citizens. Usually, a caregiver supports the daily activities of seniors who have an injury, illness, issues with mobility, Alzheimer’s or Dementia, or chronic pain. Caregiving is an essential responsibility and necessary to provide a higher quality of life for seniors as they age. That said, duties change over the course of the stages of caregiving and caregivers must adapt to the needs of their client or loved one.
Below, we’ll break down the ten caregiver duties you should expect when caring for a client or loved one.
- Assess Medical Needs
- Monitor Medications
- Develop a Care Plan
- Help with Basic Needs
- Maintain Housekeeping
- Prepare Meals
- Assist with Mobility
- Provide Reliable Transportation
- Be a Companion
- Help with Hygiene
10 Caregiver Duties
Assess Medical Needs
Caregiving is a uniquely intimate profession. As a caregiver, you’ll be responsible for monitoring the medical needs of your loved one or client because their ability to do so may be limited. As conditions like Alzheimer’s and Dementia progress, their needs will also begin to change. It may also be a wise decision to accompany them to their doctor’s visits to get a better understanding of their health.
Typically, many seniors will take medications to maintain their health or to treat a chronic condition. However, general forgetfulness can be to blame for incidents of improper consumption of their medication. Your responsibility as a caregiver will be first to understand what they’re taking and why. Then, you’ll remind them to take the proper dosage at the correct time.
Develop a Care Plan
Arguably, developing a care plan is the most important responsibility involved in caregiving. This involves dedicated attention to your client or loved one to determine their needs. As your client or loved one ages, modifications to their routine, home, or care needs may be necessary to ensure they maintain a high quality of life. This requires you to determine the extent of care needed, from how many hours a day to any extra care necessary to maintain their health.
Help with Basic Needs
The main goal of caregiving is to alleviate the stresses of daily life from seniors. Specifically, those who need more help or can’t perform normal activities without help. This means as a caregiver, you should expect to assist in the daily routine of your client or loved one. Typical activities you’ll assist in include bathing, grooming, cooking, eating, cleaning, and bathroom assistance.
As we age, our ability and energy to perform tasks like household chores become much more limited. That said, a clean and safe home is essential for maintaining the health of your client or loved one. Typical caregiver duties for housekeeping include laundry, vacuuming, dishes, dusting, and much more.
Part of the daily routine of a caregiver will be to prepare meals for your client or loved one. Some seniors lose the ability to cook, or it may become more taxing to cook for longer periods. To maintain a healthy diet and ensure your client is well fed, a caregiver will typically cook for their client or loved one. This eliminates the need for them to cook themselves, which can be dangerous in some scenarios if they have memory or mobility issues.
Assist with Mobility
Especially in cases where your client or loved one has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, age can limit the mobility of some people and make movement dangerous in some instances. If mobility is an issue, caregivers should assist their client or loved one with activities like going up and down staircases or getting up and out of bed.
Provide Reliable Transportation
As we get older, it becomes less viable for people to drive. Whether it be from vision issues, reaction time, or a mental condition like Alzheimer’s, most seniors will eventually need assistance getting places. Depending on your client or loved one’s needs, it may fall upon the caregiver to provide transportation to doctor’s visits and other appointments.
Be a Companion
Especially in cases where your loved one or client does not have a spouse, companionship becomes an increasingly more important responsibility as a caregiver. Companionship provides comfort, especially since there are intimate caregiver activities which can affect your senior’s self-esteem or modesty. In addition, it provides some emotional support throughout their day to improve their mental health.
Help with Hygiene
Personal hygiene, especially for seniors, is incredibly important for maintaining their health. The main reasons seniors neglect their personal hygiene is from lack of ability or forgetfulness. Your responsibilities will include bathing, oral care, skin care, nail care, and much more. We recommend checking out a Caregiver Personal Hygiene Checklist as a guide for the personal hygiene activities you prioritize for your client or loved one. While maintaining your client or loved one’s personal hygiene is important for their physical health, it’s also important for their mental health and self-esteem.
How Home Care Agencies Help Caregivers Fulfill Their Duties
Working with a home care agency like JEVS Care at Home, gives you the resources and support to fulfill your caregiving duties and provide the best possible care for your client or loved one. We strive to help make caregiving your primary focus by providing you with the training, tools, and benefits you’ll need to provide quality care.