All caregivers want to help other people, but not all of them fill the same role. While we’re most familiar with a family caregiver (someone who takes care of an aging, sick, or disabled loved one), there are other caregiver titles with some slight differences in their roles.
Learn more about the different types of caregivers and what their roles entail.
A family caregiver is a relative that provides care for a family member, such as an elderly parent or a loved one with an intellectual disability. When someone is a caregiver, they usually care for the person around the clock, which requires them to live in the same house as the person they are caring for. But if the person only needs some help with household chores, finances, and medical care, they might have a professional caregiver who visits for shorter periods.
A professional caregiver is someone hired through a staffing agency. They can provide both medical and non-medical assistance. Their role is to help the person live independently, so while they might administer some medical care, the recipient is often able to care for themselves in most aspects. But there are professional caregivers who live with patients as well.
An independent caregiver is a professional, but they are often hired directly by the person needing assistance or their family rather than through an agency.
For patients who are still primarily independent but need assistance with things like transportation and certain household chores, private duty caregivers can help. Unlike some caregivers, they only help with daily activities and provide companionship, though they can also offer respite care.
Respite care is a temporary relief service that gives full-time caregivers some time off, anywhere from a few hours to weeks. Burnout is common among caregivers because their job requires so much physical and emotional energy. As such, it’s important to take implement self-care, like taking vacations, to stay healthy, which is where respite care comes into play.
An informal caregiver is also a caregiving role, but it’s very similar to a family caregiver. Informal caregivers provide care to a family member, such as an aging parent or ill spouse. They might only help with transportation or household chores, or they could be more involved and help with hygiene or medical tasks.
Understanding the different types of caregivers can help you decide which kind of caregiver your loved one needs most.
Authored by Inspire Your Journey