The exact nature of a caregiver's work and their daily schedule depends on the unique needs of each individual client. There is a physical aspect to the work, as a caregiver is expected to perform household tasks with which the client has difficulties. There also is an important mental and emotional element to a caregiver's position, as the caregiver must be empathetic and compassionate. Tools a caregiver may need to use include a stove, vacuum, or shower; the caregiver may also perform some light outdoor tasks such as sweeping and shoveling snow.
A career as a caregiver typically involves a different type of hierarchy than one might find in a traditional business. Some caregivers might not be part of an organization and might have a direct business relationship with their client or clients. Other caregivers work for an organization instead of directly having a contract with a client.
Typically, there are no formal educational requirements for a caregiver. However, there are several certifications that increase the credentials of a caregiver, such as the CNA, or certified nurse's aid, and the HHA, or home health aid.
- Accompany clients to appointments.
- Assist clients with mobility, transportation, meals, and medications.
- Provide companionship and help around the home to clients.
- Report on changes in condition or needs.