Caregiver Duties and Skills

Posted in Job Responsibilities
A caregiver is an individual who provides medical or basic care to individuals who cannot care for themselves. In many cases, caregivers work with children and the elderly but they can work with people of all ages. Their services may be needed long-term or only for short periods of time.

Duties Performed by a Caregiver
There is a long list of caregiver duties that must be performed on a day to day basis by the individuals who choose this profession. More specifically, these duties include the following:
Provide Occupational Care
This involves helping clients with the basic activities of daily life. Some patients may need minimal assistance with things such as ambulating to the restroom; others may need more intensive care that involves things like bathing, dressing, cooking and more.
Not only does the caregiver need to physically provide care to his or her clients, but he or she will also need to entertain them. This may be as simple as having a conversation, but in the case of children or certain other clients, outings may be more suitable.
Taking Vital Signs
If a caregiver is hired to provide basic medical care, he or she may be charged with the task of taking vital signs regularly. This involves taking the client’s temperature, pulse and blood pressure, but the client’s physician may need other things monitored as well.
Housekeeping Duties
In many cases, caregivers will need to provide basic housekeeping, as well. Things like dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and more are necessary parts of providing care. The level of housekeeping that will need to be done varies from client to client.
Care Plan Implementation and Support
Caregivers who work with any sort of client will play an integral role in that individual’s life. As such, parents, loved ones and medical teams will likely count on the caregiver to help in implementing a general care plan as well as to provide support.

Skills for Being Successful as a Caregiver
There are also certain caregiver skills that will help these individuals perform the duties of their jobs easily and more successfully. Some of the skills that a potential caregiver should possess include:
A Firm Understanding of Mental Disorders
Many of the clients that caregivers will encounter suffer from different types of disabilities. Things like dementia and other psychological issues can be difficult to handle, so a certain level of people skills, a strong understanding of mental disorders and plenty of patience are invaluable.
Ability to Listen and Interpret Clients’ Needs
Part of being a caregiver is anticipating the needs of the clients and relaying information to other people who are involved in the clients’ care. Listening is important because it provides the opportunity to gather new information to be shared and used to care for the client.
Ability to Adhere to a Strict Schedule
Caregivers have a lot to do and often very little time to get it done. Similarly, they often need to adhere to a strict schedule, especially when it comes to providing medications and other medical treatments. This is why time management is so crucial—it ensures that everything gets done on time.

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