What is a Caregiver?

Caregivers have many roles. The roles change as the patient’s needs change. In general, caregivers assist the elderly or disabled at home and serve as companions. They will help the patient prioritize and manage problems to get the best results. Caregivers should always have a positive attitude, but creative, focused on the patient’s well being and provide a sense of security for the patient. Often caregivers because very close friends with their patients.

Caregivers have a huge influence on the patient as to how they deal with their illness. The encouragement of a caregiver can help the patient through a tough time that can include harsh treatments. Part of a caregiver’s job is to make sure the patient gets well, eats healthy and gets sufficient rest.

A caregiver’s duties may include:

  • Take care of someone who has a chronic illness or disease.
  • They may help feed, dress, and bathe the patient
  • Stimulate the patient by playing cards, games.
  • Take the patient on healthy walks and go site seeing (If patient is healthy enough for this).
  • Arrange schedules, manage insurance issues, pay bills
  • Provide transportation to/from doctor appointments, hair or nail appointments
  • Help with housekeeping, laundry and upkeep of the home
  • Run errands such as grocery shopping or post office
  • Manage medications or talk to doctors and nurses on someone’s behalf.
  • Communicate with other family members how the patient is doing. Report problems and keep family members informed.

Caregivers- Becoming A Team

As a caregiver, you become part of a health care team made up of the patient, family members, doctors and friends. A good caregiver is vital to the patient’s well being. In many cases, the caregiver is the one person who knows everything about the patient.

How Much Do Caregivers Make?

It will depend on the city and what qualifications the caregiver has. In general, caregivers make $10-$12 if they go through a home care agency. If a caregiver finds a position on their own or through an online site like NannyCare.com, they can make upwards of $15-$20/hr. This is because home care agencies tend to take a big chunk of the caregivers hourly earnings. As far as paying for care, insurance options are usually very limited. Medicare will pay for in-home care only if the care is directly related to recovery from a specific health problem. Most people wind up paying out of their own pocket, which can be expensive.


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