What are the Responsibilities of a Caregiver?
Responsibilities of a caregiver can vary depending on the needs of the person you are providing the care for and your relationship with that person. No matter how strong your connection with the person you care for is, caregiving duties can take a toll on your health, relationships, and productivity.
To minimize stress related to a caregiver’s role and prevent burnout, learn what are your responsibilities as a caregiver.
The most common duties of a caregiver include general health care and monitoring, assisting with personal care, basic food preparation, mobility/transportation assistance, personal supervision, emotional support, and home organization.
Health Care and Monitoring
It is usual for older people to forget to take their medication or to attend a doctor’s appointment. One of your main responsibilities as a caregiver is to oversee medication and prescription usage, administer medicine, and keep track of medical appointments.
Also, it is your responsibility to monitor a person’s health, and to notice and record any changes.
Assistance with Personal Care
A big part of the caregiver’s responsibilities involves assistance with personal care. Some of the personal care you will be responsible for include bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting. Seniors who are still somewhat mobile might also need help doing their daily exercise.
As a caregiver, you have the responsibility to cook the meals, feed the senior if needed, clean the dishes, and keep the kitchen clean. However, your duties may also involve shopping for groceries, housekeeping, and other chores.
Transportation and Mobility
Even though they may have mobility issues, aging people still want and should be getting around. It is your responsibility as a caregiver to help the older person in your care get in and out of a car or wheelchair, drive them to appointments, or simply help them to move about.
General supervision is also an important part of your caregiving duties. Aging persons sometimes need supervision on what to wear, help to find items they misplaced, or help with other everyday activities.
When talking to a dementia patient, make sure to keep communication clear, talking directly and softly, and making one point at a time. Don’t offer multiple options or give multi-step instructions. Also, pay attention to your body language. Use a friendly tone and demeanor and always look the person in the eye.
When providing care to someone, you are more than just a caregiver. As a caregiver, you are also a companion that a senior can rely on when it comes to their physical and emotional health.
When caring for an elderly person, you need to be particularly aware of their emotional needs such as love, comfort, identity, occupation, inclusion, and attachment. Because when these needs are fulfilled, they can improve the quality of a person’s life.
Being a caregiver may also involve the responsibilities around general house care, organizing and cleaning the senior’s home.
A caregiver’s job can be challenging or overwhelming at times. Understanding your responsibilities will help you to take the best care of the elderly person, but it will also better prepare you to cope with caregiver stress.