What is an Elderly Caregiver?

Sheri Cyprus

An elderly caregiver is anyone who provides care for an older person. Family members, friends and relatives of an older person can all be elderly caregivers. A professional elderly caregiver is paid to provide care for a senior citizen, or older person, and usually receives on-the-job training.

An elderly caregiver might provide routine daily care.
An elderly caregiver might provide routine daily care.

The exact type of care an elderly caregiver is responsible for depends on each individual senior’s needs. Some elderly caregivers live in the older person’s home, while others provide care on a daily or weekly basis. An elderly caregiver may provide relief care so a family member or other person who cares for the senior citizen can get away for shopping, an appointment or other type of break.

Caregiving is the perfect job for people who are very patient and love working with the elderly.
Caregiving is the perfect job for people who are very patient and love working with the elderly.

Some states require professional elderly caregivers to be licensed and insured. Certificate programs to become an elderly caregiver may be found both online and at on-site community colleges. Aspiring elderly caregivers should be very patient and caring individuals since the work can be challenging. Seniors may be forgetful or may have hearing or other problems that caregivers should be patient about.

Senior caregivers may assist residents with standing and walking.
Senior caregivers may assist residents with standing and walking.

A home health aide may be a senior caregiver as well although most elderly caregivers aren’t required to provide medical services. Typically, an elderly caregiver will remind seniors to take their prescribed medications. Elderly caregivers may also drive older people to doctors’ appointments.

Elderly caregivers may provide emotional support.
Elderly caregivers may provide emotional support.

Elderly care giving is also called assisted living for seniors. As an alternative to the elderly person living in a nursing home, he or she remains at home and has a caregiver help as needed. Assisted living situations are not for elderly people who require round-the-clock care, but rather those who can spend some time on their own.

Elderly caregivers may help seniors with their medications.
Elderly caregivers may help seniors with their medications.

An elderly caregiver may provide a range of services that include light meal preparation, laundry and companionship. A senior person living alone may become lonely, so many elderly caregivers spend time visiting with the senior while also helping out with chores around the home. A person providing elder care may also drive the senior to a shopping center and help him or her shop for groceries.

Elderly caregivers may help with household chores, such as vacuuming.
Elderly caregivers may help with household chores, such as vacuuming.

Physical fitness is important for elderly caregivers, as they usually do a lot of lifting and bending throughout the workday. An elderly caregiver often helps seniors with bathing, toileting and dressing. Aspiring elderly caregivers should want to make a positive difference in the lives of older people.

Caregivers need a high level of empathy when dealing with the elderly.
Caregivers need a high level of empathy when dealing with the elderly.
Elderly caregivers try to provide emotional support by caring for clients in a compassionate manner.
Elderly caregivers try to provide emotional support by caring for clients in a compassionate manner.
Elderly caregivers may help with washing dishes and other cleaning.
Elderly caregivers may help with washing dishes and other cleaning.

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