Residential caregivers assist elderly and disabled patients with daily living. This is often a live-in position, so these caregivers may be expected to be available around-the-clock to provide assistance whenever necessary; some may even work up to 12 hours per day, though they usually have one or two days off per week. In these cases, they may be relieved by other caregivers who can assist patients.
It is important that residential caregivers are able to manage and coordinate care, and strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential to establish bonds with patients and communicate with various parties involved in their care. These caregivers perform duties such as bathing, cooking, cleaning, and assisting with mobility. Patients vary in their independence and the tasks they perform, and caregivers are occasionally present simply to provide companionship for patients. They often transport patients to appointments and other activities, as well, and perform activities such as shopping and other errands, so a valid driver’s license may be required.
Those in this position should communicate well with the medical providers and families of patients. When changes in patients' statuses are noted, doctors should be notified immediately. Caregivers may also assist clients with physical activities to help them maintain health and regain independence. This job can be physically strenuous, and a high school diploma is often a minimum requirement.
Residential Caregiver Tasks
Maintain records of patient care, condition, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
Transport clients to locations outside the home, such as to physicians' offices or on outings, using a motor vehicle.
Monitor food and liquid intake and vital signs.
Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
Perform a variety of duties as requested by client, such as obtaining household supplies or running errands.