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How To Know When To Hire A Caregiver For The Elderly?

Juggling between taking care of your loved one and yourself isn’t easy.

In-Home Care

Juggling between taking care of your loved one and yourself isn’t easy. 

As rewarding as caregiving can be, giving up on dreams or activities that matter most, for instance, pursuing a career in another state, hanging out with friends every Saturday night, or just having enough time for self-care like you used to, can lead to caregiver burnout.

If you are not able to provide proper care as you’d prefer to, then your loved one stands the risk of neglect, which has a myriad of consequences – falls, unhealthy eating habits, loneliness, or worsened health conditions.

Hiring an elder caregiver can help ensure your loved one is properly cared for, so that you can be freed  to pursue your dreams too, or to accomplish other much needed tasks and pleasures that might be slipping through the cracks on your agenda.

When is the right time to hire a caregiver, and how can you hire one? Keep reading to find out.

Who is an Elder Caregiver?

An elder caregiver is a non-medical or medical professional who assists an elderly person, in a way that helps them live independently or live comfortably in their own home or in a care home as they age.

Non-medical elder care givers include personal care aides, companionship caregivers,  caretakers for seniors, caregivers

Medical care givers and nurses include Registered Nurses (RN), physical therapists, speech therapists, and more.

What does an Elder Caregiver Do?

A senior citizen caretaker’s role and duties will vary depending on whether the caregiver is a medical or non-medical caregiver.

Non-medical Caregiver Duties for the Elderly

In-Home Cleaning care lady

This includes personal care aides, companionship caregivers,  caretakers for seniors, home health aides, CNAs and caregivers. 

They provide basic personal care assistance to older adults to ensure they live as independently as possible. Such care can be provided in the senior’s home or a care home.

Home health aides in addition to providing personal care assistance can function in some capacity as medical caregivers because they have extra training or licensing to provide basic medical care needs.

Non-medical elder caregiver duties include:

  • Assisting to create care plans: personal care assistants can help in designing your loved one’s care plan with other medical professionals as well as family.

  • Helping with mobility: if your loved one’s physical mobility is declining because of age, non-medical elder caregivers can assist. This can include transferring from a wheelchair to the bed or bathroom.
  • Assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs): Activities of daily living include activities such as bathing, toileting, grooming, and eating. If your loved one is finding it difficult to do these, a personal care aide can help.
  • Medication Reminders: while non-medical caretakers for seniors cannot provide medical services, in some states–such as Nevada–they can provide medication reminders, and medication monitoring to ensure your loved one isn’t neglecting to take their medication.
  • Housekeeping: Non-medical elder caregivers assist with housekeeping services such as cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and laundry.
  • Meal preparation: in-home caregivers can assist in preparing meals for your loved one, and ensure they are eating healthy. Some of them might be trained to prepare special diets.
  • Companionship: elder caregivers provide companionship for older adults. In-home care aides can play games, engage in an older adult’s favorite hobby, or take a walk with them.
  • Transportation: Non-medical senior caretakers might help with or arrange transportation for seniors to go for appointments, social outings, and more.

Medical Caregiver Duties for the Elderly

Medical caregivers offer nursing from home health aids and other medical care that can help older adults live comfortably despite their health conditions. Their service can vary, but common services provided will include:

  • Checking of vital signs
  • Wound dressing
  • Drawing blood
  • Catheter insertion and changing
  • Setting up medical equipment in a senior’s home
  • Administering injections and medications
  • Treating mild or chronic medical conditions
  • Providing palliative or hospice care to seniors approaching the end of life

Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists are considered medical care givers that provide support for older adults to enhance mobility and quality of life as well as speech.

When to Hire a Caregiver for Your Elderly Loved one

Women Sitting on Chair

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Often it is not until a senior’s condition has worsened and causes grave consequences before they hire outside services and support. This shouldn’t be the case. 


The right time to hire a caregiver for your loved one is when:


  1. You begin to notice certain physical and/or behavioral changes

  2. You or the family caregiver can no longer provide adequate care

Physical and Behavioral Changes


As a person is aging, they will begin to demonstrate some physical and behavioral changes that an observant relative or family member might notice.


This can be:


  • Difficulty climbing the stairs, reaching out to top shelves, or getting up from bed

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Loss of weight 

  • Unhealthy eating habits

  • Spoiled food in the kitchen

  • Stack of unpaid bills

  • Forgetfulness

  • Missed medications

  • Inability to perform activities of daily living

  • Loneliness, isolation, and/or depression

  • Driving dangerously


When you notice one or more of the above, it means your loved one would benefit from having someone else look after them and providing assistance where possible.


Family Caregivers Can No Longer Provide Care


If you or a family member has been the sole caretaker of your loved one, various factors might make it impossible to continue to provide care.


For instance, caregiver burnout. As rewarding as caregiving is, caring for a loved one can be overwhelming. Caregiver burnout can lead to elder neglect or abuse .


Other factors that can make family caregivers no longer able to provide care could be changes in location, getting married, pursuing a dream or career, as well as mental and health conditions.


If, for whatever reason, you or a family member can no longer provide adequate care, hiring a caregiver and seeking outside resources for your loved one should be a priority.


Hiring an Elder Caregiver


You can hire a caregiver to assist your loved one at home, or in a care home in their own community.


This can be done independently or through a caregiving agency. While hiring independently is an option, there are several downsides that make it challenging. 


Hiring independently takes more time and resources to source prospective caregivers than expected.  It is usually simpler to leave the matter to those who make it their profession to interview and hire support services.


It’s not easy to vet caregivers when hired independently.  Managing them to ensure they are providing proper care is another challenge not well tolerated. In the event a caregiver isn’t providing proper care, or cannot continue providing care, you have to go through the whole process of sourcing, interviewing, and hiring over and over again.


Whereas, hiring from a caregiving agency like Amy’s Eden provide families with a caregiver that has been trained and screened for reputable care experience including ability to provide senior citizen safety.  Prior to hiring, a caregiving agency will also be looking over potential caregivers for possible criminal history records, transmittable diseases and physical abilities will be evaluated by a health care physician to be sure they can perform the job of a caregiver.


A good care agency assesses your loved one, creates a care plan for them, assigns a caregiver that is the right fit and manages the caregiver. All of this is usually too burdensome for the family. They save you the obvious burdens associated with hiring independently.


Elder Caregiver at Amy’s Eden


Amy’s Eden provides elder caregivers to assist older adults at home, or in our assisted homes that feel just like home.


As can be seen, to provide clients with the best caregivers, our caregivers are rigorously vetted for training and experience in providing quality care for seniors.


Plus we give your loved one’s caregiver the support they need to ensure they are following the care plan created by providing proper and deserved care.


If your loved one lives in Reno or Carson City Nevada, and you or your doctor has been noticing signs that tell you it’s time to hire a caregiver, give us a call today or fill out the contact us form below to find out how we can help.


Our caregivers have been trained to provide, pamper and spoil many of Nevada’s lucky senior citizens with loving care. We can’t wait to do the same for your loved one.


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