You may assume that your senior loved ones don’t need a caregiver because they don’t need medical assistance. But, even if a senior doesn’t require the assistance of a home health care nurse, they may still require some help on a day-to-day basis. Many families find that their senior loved ones are able to benefit from the help of a non-medical home caregiver.
What Is a Non-Medical Home Caregiver?
A non-medical caregiver differs from a home health care nurse in the fact that they don’t administer medications or injections. They also don’t provide pain management treatment such as physical therapy. Keep in mind that a non-medical caregiver does remind a senior when it is time to take medications or visit the doctor.
These homemaker tasks include:
- Housekeeping duties
- Assisting with meal prep and cooking
- Helping with grooming
These tasks aren’t difficult, but over time they can become time-consuming. Family members can help with these tasks initially, but a non-medical caregiver will be able to devote their time to these tasks, allow for seniors to still feel independent, and let family members take some time for themselves.
What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Caregiver?
A caregiver’s specific duties and responsibilities differ based on what level of help a family provides, but most caregivers have the following duties and responsibilities:
Assist with Basic Needs
Most seniors require the help of a non-medical caregiver when daily tasks such as combing their hair and dressing themselves become difficult. Caregivers are compassionate and able to help seniors with personal tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and using the bathroom.
Although caregivers help with many tasks, their primary goal is to provide companionship to their patients. Caregivers serve as a consistent and positive force in a senior’s life. This is very important for seniors who live alone as it helps to prevent loneliness.
While non-medical caregivers will not administer serious medications, they can help to oversee the health of a senior. This includes monitoring medicine usage and providing appointment reminders.
Assist with Mobility
Caregivers also help seniors remain mobile. If a senior uses a cane or wheelchair, caregivers will help them with activities such as getting around their homes and entering and exiting vehicles.
One of the most beneficial things that caregivers offer is access to transportation. Caregivers can bring their patients to appointments and activities, help them run errands, and bring them to visit family. Transportation, much like companionship, prevents isolation and loneliness.
The Benefits for Aging in Place
Aging in place is a common desire amongst seniors. To age in place is the ability for a person to live in their own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, no matter their age, income, or ability levels. For seniors, this means that they can continue to live in their own homes as they age, instead of moving into a smaller home, an assisted living facility, or a retirement home.
Aging in place comes with many benefits. These include:
- Remaining independent
- Staying in a comfortable environment
- Staying healthy & safe
As we age and experience some cognitive and physical decline, day-to-day tasks can become increasingly difficult. As a result, remaining independent becomes nearly impossible as seniors tend to rely on the help of friends and family. When this happens, seniors find themselves losing control over their daily routines and activities in order to accommodate the schedules of others. This can be prevented with the help of a non-medical caregiver.
A non-medical caregiver can help seniors to remain independent by helping them with daily tasks and allowing them the freedom to not rely on or interrupt the busy schedules of friends and family members.
Staying in a Comfortable Environment
Home is where we are most comfortable, so it is understandable why many seniors would rather age in place at the home they’ve always lived in or at least known for quite some time. Along with it being a comfortable environment, a senior’s home is usually close to family members and full of many memories.
Because caregivers come to the home, they allow seniors to stay in their comfortable environment. This eliminates any physical and mental stress that seniors could have toward moving to a new and unfamiliar place.
Additionally, working with a caregiver allows seniors to remain a part of their communities and keep valuables and furniture that they would likely have to sell if they moved into a retirement home or assisted living facility.
Staying Healthy & Safe
In addition to being quite costly, many nursing homes or assisted living facilities have a negative effect on the health of their patients. There are a number of reasons for this, but the emotional toll of leaving home plays a major part.
Seniors who are homesick tend to have a higher risk for loneliness and depression. These ailments can then lead to a cognitive decline and eventually physical injury.
As the COVID-19 pandemic showed us, senior living facilities also act as hot spots for certain viruses. This is because these home care facilities combine many risk factors for transmission such as congregate living and a large elderly population with underlying conditions.
Because caregivers visit seniors in their homes, families who partner with caregivers are able to guarantee that their loved ones remain safe and healthy.
Is a Non-Medical Caregiver Right for My Family?
So, when considering what are the duties and responsibilities of a caregiver, remember that non-medical caregivers can provide seniors with assistance for basic daily tasks, help with mobility and transportation, and offer companionship to seniors.
In addition to helping seniors and families with the above tasks, non-medical caregivers also help seniors to remain independent in a place that they are comfortable in and help families reduce costs associated with senior care. The combination of comfort, convenience, and safety makes non-medical caregivers an attractive choice for many families and seniors.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.