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How Do You Know If You’re A Caregiver

Being a family member and a caregiver can creep up on you. Some times its hard to tell when you cross the line from doing your “family duty” into being a caregiver as a service above and beyond any normal needs.

A caregiver is someone, typically over age 18, who provides care for another. It may be a person who is responsible for the direct care, protection, and supervision of children in a child care home, or someone who tends to the needs of the elderly or disabled. It is generally one who gives assistance to another person who is no longer able to perform the critical tasks of personal or household care necessary for everyday survival.

Caregivers are governed by federal and state laws, which vary by state. Various laws regulate eligibility and standards of conduct, such as abuse or neglect of a client or misappropriation of a client’s property.

Family Caregiver

A family caregiver is a relative, friend, or neighbor who provides emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services on a daily or intermittent basis for an ill or disabled loved one at home. Most family caregivers volunteer their time, without pay, to help with the care needs of a loved one.

Professional Caregiver

A professional caregiver is hired to provide care for the care receiver. These caregivers can provide medical or non-medical care in the home or care facility. Their career is to assist another person in a way that enables them to live as independently as possible. Professional caregivers work for an agency, and the care recipient hires the agency to provide care.

Independent Caregiver

The term independent caregiver is commonly used to describe a home care professional who does not work for an agency. An independent caregiver is employed directly by the family. There is no intermediary agency between the care recipient and the caregiver.

Private Duty Caregiver

A private duty caregiver can provide a broad range of services, from medical and nursing care to bill paying and transportation services. Their goal is to provide whatever the senior and their family needs in order for them to remain independent in their own homes.

Informal Caregiver

An informal caregiver, typically a family member, provides care, typically unpaid, to someone with whom they have a personal relationship. This differs slightly from a family caregiver in that an informal caregiver is directly related to the care recipient. Family caregivers can also be a friend or neighbor.

Volunteer Caregiver

A volunteer caregiver usually works in either respite or hospice care. A volunteer provides breaks for someone who is caring for an adult with a disability, chronic illness, or frailty. They provide non-medical companionship, supervision, and a friendly new face for a person with special needs so that the caregiver has some time away. A volunteer is commonly perceived by hospice care recipients and families as ordinary members of their local community. This relationship provides a feeling of normality for them, as well as their families and friends.

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