The duties of a caregiver in home are hardly ever spelled out properly. These are usually wide-ranging and involves more than just spending time with an elderly person. What a caregiver needs is a comprehensive breakdown of their daily or weekly caregiving duties.
The duties of a caregiver in home are wide-ranging. You will be all over the show in that you may shop for meals the one moment and the next you'll find yourself cleaning the carpets, then quickly needing to switch to administer medication.
As a caregiver's role can be quite demanding, finding extra help is the best course of action, either paid or unpaid.
Generally speaking, caregivers do not always get the recognition they deserve. In some instances, they are not even compensated adequately. This is especially true of adult children who are tasked to look after their elderly parents while raising their own children. This group of care providers are usually in their thirties and forties, called the sandwich generation.
If you are looking for assistance with the care of an elderly family member, there are two types of professional caregivers.
Medical caregivers: Nurses and nursing assistants including registered nurses (RN) licensed practical nurse (LPN) and certified nursing asistant (CNA) These nurses operate under the guidance of a licensed practitioner such as a doctor (MD or DO) or a nurse practitioner (NP).
Non-medical caregivers: These carers will provide companionship, use home care aides, health aides, offer personal care. Some may be certified nursing assistants but would not be operating under the supervision of a nurse or physician.
Now, let's offer a comprehensive breakdown of a caregiver's responsibilities when they engage in senior in-home care.
Caregiver Responsibilities in Home
Assists seniors with everyday living activities, such as dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming, and getting to and from activities and their meals.
Allows and encourages seniors to perform as much of their own personal care as possible.
Meal preparation and assistance with feeding as needed.
Encourages senior adults to consume a suitable amount of food provided and take in enough fluids to avoid dehydration without neglecting the senior person's right to make their own decision. Records and reviews changes in resident's eating habits.
Identifies hobbies, games and activity that will encourage engagement from the elderly person and stimulates increased participation. Initiates and participates with these activities.
Take note of medicine distribution as applicable, entertainment activities, or any incidents; report any notable differences in the elderly person's physical well-being, or changes in toileting needs or habits.
Assists the elderly with medication management or keeps an eye on seniors who self-administer medicinal drugs. Ensure they follow medical doctor orders and local laws to manage medications.
Take and record vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate to be tracked over time so an abnormal finding would be noticed and reported to the primary care physician. Check here for normal blood pressure by age.
Maintain a secure, clean, and orderly area for the person they care for and perform daily housekeeping duties and follow set cleaning schedules for dining, laundry, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, and all other areas.
Follows given procedures in the case of an emergency and respond directly and positively to the elderly's requests for help.
Provides supervision and assistance as needed for safety at all times.
First Day Duties of a Caregiver in Home – How to Make it Successful
When hiring a caregiver full time or for respite care, you may be at a loss about what to expect or ask to be accomplished on the first day.
Following are a few expert tips:
Be sure to let the caregiver or agency know as much as you can about your senior in advance. This will minimize a feeling of awkwardness on their first day. Let them know what duties they need help with so they can be fully prepared.
Let the caregiver have an understanding of family logistics, who is the primary decision maker and who has been providing care in the past. Also let them know who to call in the event of questions as the caregiver is getting to know your elder.
Let them know if their is a specific task or something needed to be completed before they leave at the end of the day.
Check with them to see how the day went afterwards and see if any adjustments need to be made to expectations.
Evaluating the Emotional and Physical Needs of the Elderly
It is easy to relate to people who wish for nothing more but to stay in their own homes. Many Americans want to grow old in their places of residence and welcome the idea of aging in place.
Family members can make their loved one's dream a reality by taking into account their various needs. Some of these include; evaluating their daily needs, determining how their homes can be modified to accommodate comfortable living, transportation alternatives when they can no longer drive themselves, how capable the senior individual is at handling their own finances, and so much more.
The Benefits of Providing Care in Home
While it is hard work to keep an elderly individual happy and healthy in their own place, the rewards are numerous for the person taking care of them. One of the primary advantages of taking on this kind of role is the bond you develop with another person.
Then, there is a sense of achievement when you take care of another human being who depends on you for just about everything. The reward of getting to know someone you are caring for is multifaceted. You often hear their dreams, learn about their history and what makes them tick and begin to form a bond that is often quite strong.
Another benefit which can't be quantified is the trust factor. The elderly individual puts their life into your capable hands. The caregiver will most certainly develop a deeper appreciation of a life well-lived and ensure they make the most of their remaining years as a caregiver.
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I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and have been working with the 70+ age group for over a decade. I will share my knowledge and experience to give you ideas to care for your aging parents. Read more >>