Know More About a Caregiver’s Responsibilities
A caregiver attends to the needs of another individual disabled by a disease or an injury, or by age. A caregiver can be someone in the patient’s family or a qualified professional.
Care taken by a family member is categorized as informal caregiving. Formal caregivers, on the other hand, are paid professionals that complete requisite education and training to offer their services. Formal caregivers may be arranged by entities such as home health agencies or other licensed healthcare bodies.
A caregiver usually delivers his/ her services in a home environment. Services may be delivered at assisted living care centers and nursing homes too.
Tasks performed by caregivers as part of their jobs depend on the type of care required by the patient. From general tasks to specialized medical attention, a caregiver provides a range of assistance to the patient.
Given here is detailed information on the roles and responsibilities of a caregiver:
Delivering Personal Care
The assigned caregiver is expected to help the individual in need of care with personal care tasks. These tasks include bathing, grooming and assisting the care recipient in the toilet. A caregiver ensures that the individual maintains hygiene at all times.
The best caregivers are highly empathetic. They understand that the care recipient needs to maintain his/ her dignity, especially when he/ she is dependent on others for even basic tasks. Such caregivers behave with tact, composure and compassion.
Personal care also includes offering assistance in moving around. The elderly, and patients disabled by disease or injury, need help with walking or with mobility aids. A caregiver must be prepared to provide these services.
Mobility tasks can be physically challenging for caregivers. Inadvertent accidents can occur on the job even with the best caregivers. The best way to protect yourself from such mishaps is to be insured. Get a comprehensive insurance for caregivers as self-protection. Know more about how to become a caregiver here.
Depending on their condition, care recipients may need assistance with going around the locality and other travel. A caregiver typically helps with transportation during shopping, doctor visits, and recreational activities such as going to the park or theater.
The caregiver must also assist the patient with special mobility needs such as wheelchair access while getting on/ off a vehicle.
Performing Household Tasks
Caregivers that take care of the elderly or physically or mentally-disabled patients perform tasks around the home. These include handling laundry, preparing meals, shopping for the patient, doing dishes, and sweeping and mopping.
Shopping usually involves buying groceries or assisting the patient with general errands they may be unable to do by themselves.
Meal preparation is a key task that ensures the wellbeing of the patient. Caregivers need not be certified cooks. Basic cooking skills to ensure a wholesome homely diet should be enough.
If there are specific dietary requirements, a caregiver may have to prepare meals accordingly. The treating doctor usually gives instructions on the right diet requirements. In some cases, a caregiver may need to work with a nutritionist to meet the patient’s dietary needs.
Providing Medical Care
A caregiver has to attend to the general medical needs of an elderly or a patient. He/ she has to ensure that the care recipient takes the required medication at set schedules. The best caregivers ensure that the patient gets the right medical attention.
Supervising daily medication and informing treating doctors about discrepancies in medication dosage or patient behavior, are part of the job. With the right intervention, a caregiver can become a life-saver during critical times.
Assuring Physical Wellbeing
A caretaker is responsible for the physical health of the patient/ client. A caregiver has to ensure that the individual performs physical exercises as instructed by the healthcare provider.
In many cases, mobility is one of the best forms of exercise recommended by the treatment provider. A caregiver must ensure that the patient gets as much movement as possible for better physical health.
Extending Emotional Support
Offering emotional support to the recipient can be a mentally-taxing task for caregivers. The best caregivers offer companionship to care, recipients, when needed. This empathy also includes understanding when to leave the care recipients alone for some alone-time.
Successful caregivers talk to their clients/ patients and listen to them, ensuring that they are there for the individual. This affirmation that there is someone to help, offers comfort and courage for many patients.
In specific cases, such as taking care of the elderly, a caregiver has to take more effort. He/ she has to connect with the individual and offer companionship. For example, a caregiver can play chess or other indoor games over a cup of tea with the patient. The caregiver can accompany the individual to plays and movies. These interactions develop a rapport that is important to connect emotionally with the patient.
Adequate emotional support plays an important part in improving the health of the individual. It also ensures that the existing condition of the individual does not deteriorate.
Serving as a Mediator
One of the key tasks of a caregiver is to serve as a mediator between the family, doctors, and the patient. A caregiver functions as a channel for genuine communication between the family, patient, and his/ her healthcare providers.
This communication is crucial to convey the emotional, physical and medical condition of the care recipient. With open communication, it is possible to take the best decisions that contribute toward the better health of the patient.
A caregiver is responsible for the physical health and mental happiness of an individual. Individuals passionate about helping others have the best chances to be successful at caregiving. Empathy, compassion, flexibility, and an organized mindset, are important to be great at the job.
A caregiver’s job requires you to be on your toes constantly. You need to juggle between different tasks and be prepared to take on more duties if required. It is crucial to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and professionally to be able to deliver the best care to your patients.