Caregivers are those who assist infants, disabled or elderly person in their daily activities. Normally, caregivers can be found in a nursing care facility or may also visit elders in their homes. Although caregivers are not health professionals, they are responsible for assisting clients with mental or physical health problems. Their job includes assisting them to walk and helping them out as they exercise. Caregivers play a big role in the industry of health care; however they are not given enough recognition.
The tasks of a caregiver are immense. A caregiver normally works in patients’ homes and assists them with almost every task. Caregivers ensure that their patients take their medications and get the proper care and nutrition daily. They are responsible for planning and preparing meals of patients, running errands such as buying groceries, and ensuring all the food their patients consume are fresh and clean. Some of the housekeeping tasks are sometimes handled as well by caregivers. These include doing the laundry, making beds, dusting, keeping a calendar of appointments and organizing mail. Caregivers also accompany their patients in their medical appointments, trips to salons and or to religious activities. They may also join their patients in activities like playing board games or watching films. Besides the physical help, caregivers provide their patients with emotional support and motivation.
Education and Training Requirements
There are no particular requirements to become a caregiver. Some caregivers learn the job hands-on, while others take formal training in nursing aid provided by community colleges or vocational schools. There are nursing aid programs and trainings provided by the NAHC for aspiring caregivers.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
Although there are no particular educational attainment required for on to become a caregiver, there are skills required to do the job effectively. Being compassionate, caring, positive and nurturing are some of the best aspects of a caregiver. A caregiver should also have physical strength, as the job usually requires heavy lifting especially when bathing a patient or assisting them as they get out of bed. They should also learn to keep vital information from their patients completely confidential.
A caregiver works in the patients’ residence. Others spend their time caring for patients in nursing aid facilities. The time of work depends on the patients’ availability. Some caregivers only work in the evening when their patients needed them the most. The job is exhausting and needs a lot of patience and dedication.
The salary of a caregiver is about $10.39 an hour. Their average annual salary is about $21,010. Although there are a lot of responsibilities involve in being a caregiver, the compensation is not that high.