Understanding the duties and responsibilities of a senior caregiver is important in embracing and growing within that role to better serve our elderly population.
What is a Caregiver?
Simply put, the caregiver job description is anyone who provides care for another person. That care can be as simple as companionship to services as complex as medical care. There really is no static definition because the role and duties of a caregiver’s job can vary according to the needs of those in their charge.
With that being said, a generalized description of the various caregiver duties and responsibilities for our elderly population will provide clarity and assurance for anyone potentially or currently filling that job.
What Does a Caregiver Do?
A caregiver’s job can change at a moment’s notice. On Friday, you may be shopping for groceries with the senior, and the following week, you may need to help them move from their bed to a chair because even standing for a moment is too much. Because of this, it’s even more important to understand the range of roles and responsibilities you may need to take on during your time as a caregiver.
Main Duties and Responsibilities of a Caregiver
An important aspect of caregiver duties and responsibilities is meal preparation. You don’t need to be a top-rate chef to prepare basic meals for the elderly. Basic cooking skills will provide them with the snacks and meals they can live on while at home. Having the meals ready can also prevent injuries as they will not have to prepare it themselves.
Even in the absence of specific dietary restrictions, following a healthy and balanced diet is incredibly important for seniors. Caregiver duties can often include making sure that their dietary needs are being met.
Laundry, dishes, mopping, and sweeping are chores most of us do with ease regularly. For seniors, these simple tasks become incredibly challenging.
Walking a sweet dog around the neighborhood or shaking a cat’s food bowl can be a defining act for the life of a senior. Having a pet at home has been shown to significantly increase your quality of life and fight off depression. This is especially true for our senior population as a little fur baby can help prevent the effects of elder isolation. While this may be indirect, it can be a valuable part of caregiver duties and responsibilities
Hygiene is incredibly personal. Part of your caregiver duties will be to assist seniors with bathing, dressing, and even with the restroom when needed. Compassionate handling is paramount to maintaining an individual’s dignity.
For a lot of people, shopping is an enjoyable activity. For seniors, it can sometimes be almost impossible to do alone or at all. Grocery or general errands to the store help meet important needs for them.
There has been a movement to label caregivers as “companions” instead. Honestly, it makes perfect sense because simply being there for them likely does more for an elderly person’s health than almost anything else. From gossiping to watching television together, you will have the opportunity to connect with another person on a very deep level.
Personal care needs vary depending upon the needs of each individual, but they can also change weekly or even daily. Limited mobility for the senior, while challenging for them, can also be physically challenging for the carer. Knowing the full details of physical care needs can help you make the best decisions for yourself and those while you perform the duties of your caregiver job.
Almost all seniors will require some type of daily medication. One of your caregiver duties and responsibilities could be to make sure that they have an appropriate amount of medication and encourage them to take medication when directed by a health professional.
One of the lesser-known aspects of a caregiver’s job may be focused on checking up on various aspects of the senior’s healthcare. Is their specialist not rescheduling an appointment when needed? Is their medication the incorrect dosage? You can intervene and speak up for those in your care to ensure they receive the best treatment possible and even potentially prevent a life-threatening problem.
The mobility of a senior can prevent them from participating in certain activities. However, even just a walk around the living room or moving their extremities can improve their overall health. You will work within each person’s limitations and provide appropriate movements and exercises.
The services provided by a caregiver are nothing short of life-changing for our senior population and allow them to remain, happily, in their own homes. Caregiver jobs are in demand and available throughout the country. The positions are flexible and ready to be filled by those with a passion to care for others.