Caregiver Job Description - What to Know

Whether you're looking for caregiver for mom or dad or you're interested in getting into the field yourself, it's important to know what a professional caregiver does and developing a caregiver job description for your elderly parents unique requirements.

There are numerous aspects to their job as a caregiver that incorporate emotional, mental, and physical capabilities.

From mom or dad's perspective

From the perspective of care recipient, a caregiver provides the necessary support for various activities of daily living. Those activities can include anything from companionship such as having someone to play dominoes or cards with for a couple hours a day, to preparing meals, shopping, or making sure that the house is neat and clean, which reduces fall risks.

caregiver job description

Additional activities of a caregiver job description can also provide help with dressing, grooming, bathing, and toileting. Whether mom or dad is recuperating from an illness, a surgical procedure, a disease process or simply limited mobility caused by old age, caregivers who come into the home environment not only enhance the well-being and quality of life for aging or disabled people, but ensure their safety, security, and social interaction

From a caregiver's perspective

The caregiver job description from a caregiver's perspective can vary widely depending on situation. Caregivers who work through home health care agencies provide required support by care recipients and their families depending on need and scenario.

A caregiver may be required to transport a loved one to medical appointments but may also be required to create well-balanced menu plans, do the cooking, and ensure that care recipients are eating a balanced and nutritious diet.

Caregivers also ensure safe mobility and transfer from one location of a home to another using the gait belt if required, or encouraging the care recipient to use a cane, walker, or other mobility device as necessary to reduce fall risk. Part of a caregiver job description can also provide bathing or showering assistance, provide medication oversight, and perform light housekeeping chores for their clients.

caregiver job description

While performing these physical and necessary activities of daily living duties, a caregiver also provides a calm, confident and compassionate attitude and behavior toward the care recipient. It's important for caregivers to understand some of the frustrations that come with limited mobility, medical conditions, or environments. Caregivers are there to support, in any way they can within certain guidelines, the mental, emotional, and physical health and wellness of the care recipient.

Breaking it down

Caregivers and home healthcare environments are typically experienced in providing non-medical-based care, which means performing as a support or ancillary role in a medical team. Nurses will provide care for wounds, ostomy care, catheter, and any other "hands-on" medical care and needs for the care recipient while the home health care aide or caregiver provides the support, guidance and encouragement for hygiene, eating, grooming, social interaction, and ensuring that care recipients stay as socially active as possible.

Because caregivers are generally not allowed to dispense medication, provide hands-on nursing or medically based care, they don't need special licensing. For example, when taking care of a client with a catheter, the caregiver (home health aide, CNA, or someone experienced in the field) cannot actually change out the catheter, but they are allowed to empty the bag and make sure that it is functioning properly. A caregiver can ensure that daily (morning, afternoon, evening) medications are being taken as instructed, but they cannot take medicine out of bottles and give it to the patient directly.


Understanding the benefits and limitations of caregiver job definitions is important to those interested in getting into the field as well as those looking for caregivers.

If you're interested in someone to help with mom or dad on a daily or weekly basis, short-term or long-term, or if you're someone looking into the home healthcare field, contact a home health care agency in your area and feel free to ask your questions.

Caregivers provide a solid foundation for home based healthcare. They're part of a very valuable network of medical providers that strive to maintain or improve safety, comfort, and quality of life for their patients.

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