The Duties & Responsibilities of a Caregiver

by Kathy Adams McIntosh
Caregivers, whether family or hired professionals, help people with daily needs.

Caregivers, whether family or hired professionals, help people with daily needs.

People continue to live longer as the medical community develops new treatments for chronic conditions. Along with the ability to manage their condition, many of these people also choose to live in their own home. Caregivers assist these people with a variety of tasks, allowing them to remain at home rather than move to a nursing facility. In some cases, family members fill this role. Sometimes, hired caregivers come into the home. Understanding the duties and responsibilities of a caregiver allows family members and hired caregivers to meet the needs of the person.


One role of the caregiver involves providing companionship. For some people, the only time they socialize is when their caregiver visits. They may not be able to leave their homes; their family may live far away; or they stay in the home by themselves, isolated from contact with other people. When the caregiver arrives, it gives that person a chance to talk with someone and a offers a break from their isolation.


Some caregivers provide light housekeeping duties. This might include loading the dishwasher or making the bed. In addition, the caregiver may prepare some small meals for the person by heating up a previously prepared meal or making a sandwich.

Personal Care

Personal care consists of hygiene, dressing and administering medication. These tasks keep the person clean and healthy. People with physical limitations may lack the ability to bathe themselves or put on clean clothing. The caregiver bathes and dresses the person. The caregiver may also assist with other hygienic tasks, such as using the toilet or combing their hair. People with cognitive limitations may forget to take their medication or take too much. In this case, the caregiver gives the medication to the person to take.


People who require caregivers often need to attend frequent appointments with several different doctors or social workers. These people typically lack the ability to drive, so caregivers drive them to their appointments. Others contact transportation services and arrange for a ride for the person.

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