Common Caregiver Duties

Common Caregiver Duties

Caregiver duties can vary widely depending on the situation. An individual who has suffered a debilitating stroke has very different needs than an active senior healing from a minor fall. As a caregiver, you may be called on to do many tasks. Some of the more common caregiver duties include the following:

Personal Care
Asking for help with personal care is difficult for many seniors, and many caregivers may not know the degree to which their loved one needs this assistance. Sometimes physical or occupational therapy can help seniors regain these abilities after an illness or injury. Other times, your help is the only thing that allows them to brush their teeth, bathe, and dress each day. Other common tasks include brushing their hair, cooking, eating, and using the restroom.

Daily Tasks and Errands
Caregiver duties frequently include assistance with day-to-day tasks. These can be as simple as laundry and cleaning the house. Grocery shopping and running other local errands is also often needed. In some cases, your loved one may wish to accompany you on these errands. In others, they simply aren’t able. Active older adults may also need help getting to social or religious gatherings and other events.

Assistance With Medical Care
Many caregivers are called on to go to doctor’s appointments as well as coordinate medical care and related services. You may find yourself scheduling appointments, completing paperwork, or calling the insurance company. You may also find that it is necessary to listen closely during appointments to help your loved one understand what the doctor or therapist is saying. If your loved one often forgets medications, you may oversee prescriptions, as well.

Support
One of the most overlooked caregiver duties is emotional support. As they lose independence, seniors can become lonely and depressed. By listening and by simply talking to your loved one, you can provide a great deal of help. According to a study published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, this is one of the most important tasks a caregiver can provide.

Caring for Yourself
Being responsible for the health and well-being of another person can bring with it a lot of stress. Ensuring you can manage your caregiving tasks as well as your own daily life is one of the hardest aspects of being a caregiver. Make sure you have a strong support system in place and that you get regular breaks.

These caregiver duties are among the most common, but you may be asked to do things that don’t fall into any of these categories. You may also find that your loved one does not need as much hands-on care as others might require. As your loved one ages, your duties may also need to evolve to meet his or her needs.

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