Senior care relates to a wide range of care, but commonly refers to types of services that are extended over a long period of time to people needing assistance in performing normal activities of daily living (ADL).
What is Senior Care?
Simply, senior care is the care of older people, especially the care of an older parent most often in the home of a son or daughter. In-home senior care can include a wide range of medical and non-medical services, such as: adult day care; respite care; household financial planning and management; companionship; geriatric assessment, evaluation and care management; medical home health care; non-medical home care; live-in home care; home safety; home renovation and maintenance; hospice services; meal preparation and delivery; personal care (bathing, grooming, toileting); rehabilitation services (physical and occupational therapy); transportation; physician visits; and, even transition services, such as home sale, relocation, downsizing, or asset liquidation.
Types of Senior Care Jobs for In-home Care
Chore Workers: largely assist with minor household repairs and maintenance, including yard work, housecleaning, snow removal, and installing safety devices, such as ramps and shower grab bars. Chore workers may also do grocery shopping, laundry, and meal preparation. (Chore workers may be available through nonprofits, churches, or senior centers for free or for a fee based on a sliding scale.)
Certified Nursing Assistants: CNAs generally assist with bathing and personal care.
Companions: offer company or supervision to people who cannot be left alone. They may prepare meals, and some may stay through the night. They are generally available through home care agencies or independently hired.
Home Health Aides: help patients with daily activities, such as rising from bed, bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, and walking. Some home health aides work with a nurse and/or physical therapist to provide medical help, and most home health care is medically ordered by a doctor—usually after discharge from a hospital to home but still requiring skilled care. Home health aides may also take temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure readings, change bandages, and assist with physical and occupational therapy exercises. Home health aides are available through certified home health agencies.
Homemakers: clean, shop, launder, and prepare meals and are available through home care agencies or independently hired.
Licensed Practical Nurses: LPNs generally provide nursing care other than administering medications and work under a RN’s direction.
Nutritionists: offer dietary guidance, establishing a diet compatible with the senior’s medication.
Occupational Therapists: OTs use rehabilitative exercises, techniques, and equipment to improve activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, eating, and bathing by working on muscle control and coordination. OTs work to make everyday tasks easier.
Personal Attendants: assist with personal care and accompany clients to medical appointments and recreational/social activities.
Physical Therapists: PTs work to restore mobility, flexibility, and muscle strength and help to alleviate pain through exercise, massage, ultrasound, and other specialized equipment. PTs also train patients on using canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices, while also training caregivers and family members on techniques such as transferring to and from a wheelchair to bed or toilet.
Registered Nurses: RNs provide medical care and educate people on disease treatments and prevention. Care may include administering medications (including injections and intravenous [IV] therapy), caring for wounds, inserting catheters, and cleaning feeding tubes, and much more.
Social Workers: evaluate the social and emotional aspects affecting the patient and then offer counseling for depression, grief, and loss, and help identify available community resources. Often, social workers serve as case managers in very complex cases that demand a coordination of services. (A MSW is a social worker who holds a master’s degree in social work and is state certified.)
Speech Therapists: or speech language pathologists help to restore speech and retrain patients in breathing, swallowing, and muscle control after an accident or a debilitative disease.
Do any of these sound like something a senior loved one needs? A New England Nanny can help you hire someone for these jobs! Our trusted, reliable, and thoroughly screened caregivers can provide senior companion care for your family. Please contact us at (518) 348-0400.