As our loved ones age, even the simplest of daily tasks can become a challenge. In these years of their life, extra assistance can really help them to live comfortably. While some elderly people are taken care of by family members such as their children or siblings, others are assisted by professional caregivers. These wonderful people are trained to care for the health and well-being of another person who needs assistance on a daily basis. They can help with your aging loved ones or with a family member who suffers from an injury, mobility or memory issues, or any chronic conditions that make everyday chores and living difficult. Depending on your loved one’s condition, caregivers can provide different levels of support, varying from part-time assistance to in-home care. 

A caregiver’s duties may vary depending on the needs of their client, but this is a guide to help you understand their fundamental responsibilities. 

1. Support with Medical Needs

Taking care of a senior’s health is one of the most important responsibilities of a caregiver. They should be properly trained to understand the nature of illness and treatment for common conditions. Their senior care tasks may include keeping track of medical appointments, managing medications, and assessing pain levels. Other tasks and knowledge that are crucial for a professional caregiver include being aware of the side effects of medications and being able to recognize adverse reactions promptly and asking doctors the right questions when in doubt. It’s important to discuss your loved one’s health with your caregiver of choice. A caregiver is also there to make sure that your loved one carries out medical instructions on time and that they follow the treatment and dosage guidelines exactly. This will help to ensure that your loved one remains safe and healthy.

2. Make a Care Plan

Every elderly person has a unique set of requirements that they need a little help with. A professional caregiver should be able to make a care plan that addresses these needs and goals to make your loved one’s life as easy and comfortable as possible. They can also help determine how many hours per day your loved one needs to be supported. Moreover, if you have more than one caregiver, they can help schedule their own duties, make a timetable for each day, and ensure the consistency of care. The health circumstances of an elderly person can change very quickly. A responsible caregiver will review your loved one’s situation regularly and determine whether current actions are working, or whether the plan needs to be tweaked or adapted. This will ensure that your loved one gets extra assistance as and when they need it.

3. Help Your Loved One with their Basic Needs

As our loved ones get older, memory and mobility issues can make fulfilling their basic needs difficult. A caregiver can assist them with tasks like eating, bathing, grooming, and going to the toilet. They will also check in often and offer support in case your loved one needs extra help. Professional caregivers are trained to always be on hand but also to encourage their clients to be as independent as possible, which can benefit them both physically and emotionally, and prevent them from feeling like a burden. 

4. Provide Companionship and Maintain the Home

Aging can be lonely and it can break our hearts not to have the time to be with our loved ones when they are feeling alone. A caregiver can help prevent feelings of loneliness by offering companionship, sharing conversation, and building a bond with your loved one. Caregivers can also make your loved one’s life easier by doing all the normal household chores like taking out the garbage, vacuuming, and doing yard work. Your loved one will be able to enjoy a clean and pleasant home without struggling to maintain it themselves.

5. Assist with Transportation

Lack of mobility is probably one of the factors that bother your aging loved ones the most. Even if they can still walk, public transportation and driving are often no longer safe options. Moreover, they can often face the risk of falling, which is a major concern for older people. A professional caregiver can help your loved one to move around the home, and also help to drive them to the hospital for doctor’s appointments and take them out for recreation.

senior woman with her caregiver outside

Caring for an aging loved one is difficult because they decline in so many ways. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the time necessary to take care of them, as much as we want to. The best we can do is to offer them the best care from a professional. An experienced and knowledgeable caregiver can provide life-changing support, and ensure that your loved one is well looked after 24/7.