Formal caregivers are paid individuals who provide hands-on assistance to dependent adults, can work either full-time or part-time, and can be hired privately or through an agency.
Individuals may need assistance in just one or several of the following areas:
Household: Meal preparation, house cleaning, laundry, shopping, and transportation
Personal Care: Bathing, eating, dressing, toilet assistance and getting around the home
Health Management: Medications, injections, IV therapy, wound care, diabetes treatment, speech, occupational and physical therapy.
There are many types of caregivers.
Home Health Aides, Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA), or Nurses Aides often referred to as Home Health Care Workers, provide personal care, help with bathing, transfers, walking, exercise, household services that are essential to health care, and assistance with medications. Some aides have received special training and are qualified to provide more complex services under the supervision of a nursing professional.
–Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Therapists often referred to as Skilled Nursing Care, perform duties that could not be performed safely by nonprofessional personnel. These individuals assist with varied medical care, such as giving IV injections, tube feeding, dressing wounds, and physical, occupational or speech therapy.
Housekeepers or Chore Workers perform basic household tasks and light cleaning. Chore workers often do heavier types of cleaning such as washing windows and other heavy cleaning.
Homemakers provide meal preparation, household management, personal care, and medication reminders.
Home care is more successful when both the caregiver and care recipient are comfortable with it. For some, learning to accept help from others is a complicated, emotional issue and to do so is a milestone for both the caregiver and the care recipient. Cooperation and communication between you, patient and his or her family members can help the process go more smoothly.