A direct care provider works with individuals who may be elderly or have developmental delays, and will generally have multiple clients whom they visit on a regular basis. The hours for this position vary, so it is important to have a flexible schedule.
A direct care provider should be in touch with each client on a daily basis, either in-person or via phone. Duties to be carried out generally include transportation, cooking, and teaching skills for independence. When safety hazards are identified, the direct care provider will help resolve the situation. If there are changes in behavior or health, those in this position should be able to refer the client to a doctor or other medical entity.
Direct care providers will also help clients engage in social activities such as meeting with friends, going out for dinner, or participating in community activities. The focus should be to increase social skills, independence, and self esteem in clients, all while making sure they are in the best health possible. Often, individuals will have multiple direct care providers, so it is important that they communicate with one another to make sure the client’s needs are addressed.
A valid driver’s license is usually necessary. There are many part-time and full-time positions available. Many positions require a minimum of a high school diploma while others will prefer some college experience.
Direct Care Provider Tasks
Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.