A senior caregiver generally works in a senior living facility or the home of a patient, taking care of the older adults under their supervision. Duties may include helping administer medicine, offering companionship, and cooking, as well as performing housekeeping and laundry duties. The senior caregiver may run errands and perform personal hygiene care as well. Good interpersonal skills are necessary in this position, as the caregiver is often expected to perform duties such as reading aloud and carrying on conversations with the seniors under their care. They must encourage seniors to take care of themselves both mentally and physically.
Additionally, a senior caregiver must be able to keep the older adults' environment clean. A knowledge of cooking healthy meals with an ability to adapt to the seniors’ dietary needs is important to ensure patient health. Accompanying the senior to external events such as community activities and doctor's appointments may be required as well. If a noticeable change occurs in the seniors’ behavior or health, the senior caregiver must report it to the appropriate resource, such as a doctor or manager. Communication with family members is often a part of this job as well.
The minimum education requirement for senior caregiver positions usually includes a high school diploma or equivalent; relevant experience is generally needed as well. Certificates such as Certified Nursing Aid and Home Health Aide certification may be beneficial, but many positions do not require it. Senior caregiver positions may be full time or part time, and these jobs may be live-in or require a regular commute to a specified facility.
Senior Caregiver 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.