Have you ever wondered exactly what a typical day is like as a professional caregiver? Take a step into the world of caregiving, and learn some of the most common caregiver duties to see if this career might be something you’d enjoy.
With more adults choosing to age independently in the comfort of home, there’s an increased need for caregivers. If you are a compassionate person who enjoys helping others, Nightingale Homecare, voted the AZ Central Top Workplace winner in 2022 and 2021, encourages you to consider if a career in caregiving might be right for you.
What Are the Duties of a Caregiver?
Although the specific caregiving duties will change based on each individual’s needs, some common care responsibilities may include:
Personal care – In order to live independently and safely at home, older adults often need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing or showering, getting dressed, using the bathroom, and washing and brushing hair. A trusted and patient caregiver can help older individuals maintain their dignity while performing these intimate and essential tasks.
Planning and preparing nutritious meals – Caregivers can help older adults prepare and enjoy nutritious meals while monitoring for possible concerns, such as loss of appetite, food and medication interactions, or foods that can exacerbate medical conditions. A caregiver is also a friendly guide to encourage the older adult to follow any dietary restrictions or meal plans recommended by a physician.
Mobility assistance – Throughout the day, we move about the home in many different ways, but doing so, especially for older adults, can increase the risk of falls or injury. A professional caregiver can help older individuals change positions or transfer safely from a wheelchair to the toilet, shower, chair or sofa, or bed. Additionally, a caregiver can watch for signs that the older adult is at risk for a fall and can ensure the person can move safely throughout home by removing clutter or other tripping hazards.
Light housekeeping and home maintenance – Older adults may need assistance keeping up with their homes. A professional caregiver can help keep the home safe and a comfortable environment with some light housekeeping — washing the dishes, cleaning up after meals, doing the laundry, and dusting. Even performing some basic tasks, such as changing batteries in remotes or alarms or changing lightbulbs, can help an older adult continue to live independently at home.
Monitoring vital signs – For the family of the older adult, knowing that someone is there to watch for subtle changes in temperament, habits, or mood, which could be signs of a variety of health concerns, is a great reassurance. Caregivers are an extra set of eyes watching for any concerns so they can be addressed quickly.
Medication reminders – It’s important for older adults to take their medications as prescribed to avoid missed doses or possible overmedication. A caregiver can provide older adults with reminders to take the medications at the right times and can also check on the supply to see if any medications or supplies need to be refilled or ordered.
Transportation – Getting out of the house is important for helping older adults connect with others and for preventing feelings of isolation and loneliness. A caregiver can provide transportation and encouragement to attend social events, medical or dental appointments, visits to the library or senior center, and activities with friends.
Companionship and conversation – Meaningful relationships and conversations can help boost a person’s mood. A trusted caregiver plays an important role in encouraging older adults to participate in enjoyable pastimes, hobbies, or activities to help keep the mind engaged and to add purpose to the day. These activities can be as simple as reading the newspaper, reminiscing, playing cards together, or going for a walk.
Respite care for family caregivers – A professional in-home caregiver can be a tremendous help to individuals needing care as well as to their families. Family members who take on the role of caring for a loved one often need a break from their responsibilities so they can see to their own self-care needs. Family caregivers can start to feel overwhelmed or burnt out and may need respite from caregiver duties to help them rest and recharge.
Caregiving is a meaningful career choice. You can provide valuable companionship and compassionate care that enables older adults to fulfill their wishes of remaining at home as they age. Worried you don’t have the expertise to become a caregiver? If you’re a parent, community volunteer, or someone who enjoys helping others, you most likely already have many skills that would transfer to a career in caregiving. Nightingale Homecare also provides paid training to help our caregivers feel confident in providing a wide range of care services to meet our clients’ needs.
If you have additional questions about caregiver duties or what it’s like to be a member of the dedicated team at Nightingale Homecare, a leading Phoenix home care agency, contact us at (602) 926-1157. You can also visit our Join Our Team page to learn about our current caregiving opportunities in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.