Families often look for caregivers for elderly as most households has elders as integral part of the family. These elders requires care and support on regular basis. While most of the times care is provided by the family members themselves , but there are times when they are not able to provide the required care. Here hiring an in home care providers becomes a necessity. Here we are describing ways to hire a caregiver for elderly. 

Elderly caregiver

Table of Contents

Who is a Caregiver for Elderly – Meaning and Definition


Caregivers for elderly are caregivers who provide care to elderly or senior citizens. They help elderly with their daily chores, schedule medical appointments, and provide companionship. In a nutshell, they do everything to make the life of senior citizens comfortable.

Some Facts About Caregiver Industry in the USA


  • Market Size of Home Caregiver Industry – $132.1bn (2023)
  • Growth Rate of Home Care Provider Industry – 3.4% (2023)
  • Number of US Elders Aged 65 or Above (2022) – 58 million (17% of the population)
  • Projected Number of US Elders Aged 65 or Above (2022) 73 million (21% of the population) by 2030
  • Total Number of people working in home health and personal care aides – Around 3.5 million


Difference Between Caregiver and Caretaker


Broadly defining a caregiver for elderly is a person who looks after elderly or senior citizens who are not able to look after themselves. Caregivers help with their daily chores, schedule medication and do other things to ensure comfort to senior citizens.On the other hand a caretakers is a person who looks after a land, property or family, when its actual owner is away.

Different Types of Caregivers for Elderly


Caregivers for elderly are of different types. This variation is based on their roles and skill set. In this article, we will be covering different types of caregivers.

Adult Daycare Caregivers


Adult daycare caregivers are non residential caregivers who provide daycare to elderly during the day. They have a professional setting where they offer a set of socializing and recreational options. While socializing and indulging in activities, they are constantly looked after and provided support from caregivers.

Agency Caregivers


Most caregivers for elderly work under the aegis of one agency or another. Some also work independently. Agencies depute them to hospitals, nursing homes or homes as per the contract.

Assisted Living Caregivers


You might have seen some senior citizens around who have walking or cognitive difficulties. Such persons require trained caregivers to assist them to live comfortably. Assisted living caregivers are trained to help these caregivers.

Certified Nursing Assistants


Seniors, depending on conditions, also need nursing assistance that include cleaning catheters, administering treatment and taking not of some vital changes in the body. They are also expected to take preventive measures against infections. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) perform these tasks. These CNAs generally work under the guidance of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner’s (NP).Also Read

Nurse Practitioner – Why Every Nurse Wants to Become an NP

Family Caregivers


Family caregivers are in home caregivers.They are part of the family mostly friends, relatives or people close to family. They provide care to elderly who are suffering from physical or mental disability. As they are relatives, friends or family members they charge nothing. Family caregivers are mostly found in the families where family bonding is strong.

Home Health Aides


Home health aides are health caregivers who have received training to look after people, elderly or seniors who are not able to look after themselves. They help seniors with daily chores like eating, bathing and dressing. They work in home settings, hospitals and elder care homes.

Hospice And Palliative Caregivers


Hospice and palliative caregivers assist seniors suffering from incurable illness. These caregivers also work with families so that they can adjust with the suffering senior citizens.

Independent Caregivers


Independent caregivers are caregivers that are trained to provide assistance to elders in a family setting. Besides helping them with their daily chores, they form a relation with elders so that they shouldn’t feel abandoned.

Informal Caregivers


Informal caregivers can be defined as caregiver that includes family, friends, relatives and well wishers who provide care without charging anything. Such caregivers extends their support voluntarily.

Non Medical Caregivers


Non medical caregivers are supposed to provide care and support that includes cooking, cleaning, helping with bath, wearing clothes and help with walking. Besides they also perform small tasks.

Personal Care Attendants


Personal care attendants for elderly support senior citizens with various tasks including support in mobility and personal hygiene. They help with brushing teeth, bathing, dressing, eating and other small help. They also ensure that senior is taking his medicine on time.

Private Duty Caregivers


Private duty caregivers are caregivers who provide support to senior citizens as well as their families. Besides providing nursing and personal care, they also help with mobility. The help with small chores like bill payment and arranging for transportation if required. In a nutshell, they do everything to avoid any discomfort to senior citizen and their family members.

Senior Facility Caregivers


Senior facility caregivers are caregivers who provide physical, mental and emotional support to seniors. These caregivers may be provided by some agencies, hospitals or they may be some independent professionals.

Skilled Nursing Home Caregivers


Skilled nursing home caregivers are entrusted with the task of providing medical care in home or hospital set up. This care include physiotherapy, exercise and other basic medical assistance. They work till patients condition is stabilized. After that patient is shifted under the attention of a general caregiver.

Virtual Caregivers


Virtual caregivers provide medical and emotional support to patients through telephonic or online mode. They keep in touch with seniors and guide them to bring qualitative changes in their lives. In some cases, they also assess the seniors physically if the situation demands so.

Volunteer Caregivers


Volunteer caregivers are short time caregivers who support regular caregivers so that regular caregivers can take a break. They shoulder tasks like companionship, supervision and support.

Senior Caregiver

Qualities of a Good Caregiver – What to Look for in Caregiver for Elderly


Are you someone who is looking for a caregiver for elderly. You might be concerned about what should you look into a potential caregiver for seniors. We researched it well and made a list of things you should look for while hiring a caregiver for you seniors. And in all probability you will be assess his personality well.

They Should be Patient


Senior citizens take time to respond to your responses and perhaps it is why they need a caregiver or home caregiver. They may not respond to your requests and might ask same questions several times. You should also be ready to face their anger sometimes. A good caregiver should be patient to bear all these things.

They Should Be Empathetic


Empathy is the personality trait that enable a caregiver to understand what a senior is going through. It gives him ability to step in to their shoes and understand their situation well. It is a must have quality for any type of caregiver.

They Should be Good Communicator


Good communication is an important skill for home caregivers. They have to understand the problems of seniors and find appropriate solutions. Sometime they have to communicate the matter to health professionals and seek guidance.

They Maintain Confidentiality


As home caregiver work with families, they know a lot about the seniors and their families. Sometimes they also have information that should be kept secret. They are able to keep the information themselves.

They Have Sense Of Humor


Seniors are at their best when they are happy. There are very few happy moments in the life of a senior. A good home caregiver should be able to seek humor in small things.

They Are Great Companions


Companionship is what most seniors are looking for. So a good home caregiver should try to be always present with them. Even if they don’t need your assistance, they would like to have someone who is ready to help whenever a need arises.

They Are Good Listener


A senior caregiver should always be a good listener. Seniors have very little to do but a lot to say. So lending them an ear could be of great help.

They Keep a Track On Medication


Good home caregivers keep a track on the medication of seniors. As seniors require medication from time to time, caregivers should keep a track of it.

They Are Able To Interpret Signs


Experienced home caregivers are able to interpret signs and symptoms. They know how seniors behave in different situations. This interpretation help them make right decisions about their health.

They Can Measure Vital Statistic


Experienced caregivers are able to measure vital statistics of the patients. They are able to measure, temperature, pulse and blood pressure and report it to concerned doctors.

They Are Physically Strong


Seniors are often not able to walk on their own. They need to be supported with their daily chores like toilet, bath, dressing and eating among others. To support them, a caregiver should be physically strong.

The Pay Attention to Details


Good caregivers are detail oriented. They used these details to plan the schedule of seniors, administer medication and perform their daily chores. Attention to details is one of the best qualities of home caregivers.

They Seek Help


As you are a home caregiver and getting paid for it, it doesn’t mean you can do everything. They should seek help and support from friends, family members and other professional whenever required.

They Should Set Limits


As they are professional senior caregivers they know about the boundaries of their roles. They remain within the confines of their roles.

They Should be a Good Team Player


A good caregiver is a part of senior’s ecosystem and not the final word about them. As there are several professional like doctor, physiotherapists and others work for seniors, a home caregiver should assist them. A good home caregiver should necessarily be a great team player.

Elder Care

Caregiver for Elderly – Questions to Ask Your Caregiver


Just knowing the qualities of a home caregiver is not enough. Your might want to meet him in person and assess him. There could be many questions you would like to ask them. Important among them are as follows.

What Service do They Offer


Caregivers provide an array of services that include

  • Housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • Transportation
  • Medication
  • Personal care
  • Transfer

In addition to above mentioned, there are several other services they offer. You should ask what services they would be offering.

Do They Match Your Schedule?


If you are hiring a home care giving service you should ask about the leaves and holidays of the caregiver. You should also ask if they have any substitute for the days they are absent. Care giving agencies are better equipped to handle this as they have a good number of staff.

What is their cost and payment policy?


When it comes to cost it varied from agency to agency and caregiver to caregiver. Some agencies and caregiver charge by shift basis, others at hourly basis and some others by assignment basis.

  • Take their payment structure properly documented before hiring them.
  • You should also know about their cancellation and refund policy.
  • These information keeps you on best footing while negotiating a deal.


Ask about the reputation and years of operation in business.


Whether you are hiring an agency or an individual caregiver, you should always ask about its track records and years of operation in business.

What is agency or caregivers employment status?


You should know about the caregiver’s employment status. Is he working as a agency’s employee or an individual caregiver. There are times when your caregiver will make losses. Know how would he cover the damage. Are they covered with an insurance to make for the losses.Talk to your legal consultant about this before going ahead.

What are the skills and experiences of the caregiver?


As you are hiring a caregiver to look after your elderly, you should not compromise on skills and experience. You should check whether your caregiver is skillful and experienced. If you are looking for a particular skills, you should check about that also.

Do they charge for assessment?


Most agencies and caregivers perform an assessment before taking an care giving assignment as a home aide. Some agencies do it free of cost while others  charge for it.

What is the replacement policy for sick or absent workers?


There are times when the caregiver get sick or report absent. Know about the agency’s policy for their replacement.

How many caregivers work for the agency?


As an aware customer, you should know the total number of people work for the agency. More the number better it is. Because in such a situation, the agency would be responsible for providing a replacement.

Home care for elders

How To Choose The Right Caregiver For Elderly


As you have learned a lot about home caregivers for elderly it is the right time to select one. Your decision will impact a lot the life of your loved ones who are parents or seniors. Here we have come up with the time tested tips on how to choose the right home caregivers for elderly.

Assess Your Home Care Giving Needs


Assessment of needs is the first step towards hiring a home caregiver. You should know what are the requirements of elderly. What kind of support he needs. Is he able to do his daily chores or needs support? Is he able to take medicines or not? Has he any kind of walking difficulty? You should also assess how many times of the day he requires support.

Know Your Budget


Everyone fancies a highly reputed home caregiver. But highly reputed and highly experienced caregivers don’t come for pittance. You need to have a good budget for them. Most of us struggle with the budget.So we need to be realistic. We should know our budget and search for a caregiver that is well within our budget.

Consult Your Family Members


As you are hiring a caregiver for your parents or elderly, so it is clear that you are hiring them for a family set up. You have brother, sister, son, spouse and other family members. Ask them what would be good for your parents. Consulting family members is important as home caregiver won’t work in isolation but in tandem with these family members.

Create a To Do List


Before hiring a home caregiver you should create a to do list or job description for the incumbent. The job description should clearly state what is expected from the role. While talking to them tell your expectations clearly so that they can know their suitability for the role. Without knowing your expectations they will not be able to do justice with the role.

Agency Vs Individuals


Some people go for agencies while others go for individuals. You should decide what suits you. Agencies are little costlier but you can be sure about consistent services as they have staff to maintain the continuous service. But if you will hire an individual caregiver, he will form a bond with elderly. Individual caregivers also come easy.

Check References


If someone in your circle has hired an agency or an individual home caregiver then you should seek the references. They are better positioned to tell about the services of agencies or individual home caregiver. In all probability, they will recommend you to an experienced caregiver for elderly that can best suit your requirement.

Check Their Background


Every agency and individual home caregiver brags its achievement. They have an impressive portfolio to convince you. But as an aware customer, you shouldn’t believe their every word. Checking their background could be an wise step towards unveiling the truth.

Caregiver for Elderly – Frequently Asked Questions

What do caregiver want the most?


Most caregivers want recognition for their work. They want someone to lend a helping hand whenever it is required. They need to be handsomely compensated. Home caregivers want me time for themselves.

What are the things a caregiver should avoid?


As a caregiver is hired for providing help and support to seniors, there should be a code of conduct. There are do’s and don’t. Here are the things a caregiver should avoid.

  • They shouldn’t always be busy on phone, so that they can give more time to seniors.
  • Don’t go far away from what is mentioned in the contract.
  • They shouldn’t forget keeping their clients in loop while making a decision.
  • Some clients are fearful of theft. You shouldn’t indulge in any such activity.
  • You may be asked to do things you don’t like. Keep calm.
  • There are certain behavior patterns for caregivers. Don’t deviate from them.


How can a caregiver help an elder?


A caregiver can help an elder in several ways. These are as follows.

  • Daily chores
  • Preparing meals
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Managing finances
  • Scheduling appointments

The list is exhaustive.

What is palliative care and what does it includes?


Palliative care is a kind of specialized care given to people with incurable illnesses like heart disease, kidney failure and other illnesses of that scale. A palliative care professional aims at providing comfort and improvement to senior citizens. Palliative care at home includes

  • Vital tests for health
  • Prescription medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Support in social and emotional situations
  • Appointment with doctors


Is the caregiver insured and bonded?


A caregiver should be insured and bonded under liability insurance and workers compensation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *