If your loved one is aging and you're starting to plan for their eventual needs, don't be overwhelmed. Choosing the best care for your senior parents can be a challenge. Keep one important question in mind, does your loved one need the kind of care provided by a nurse, or by a caregiver.
Most people never think about the differences between a nurse and a caregiver, but it's a difference that can be instrumental in getting your loved one the proper care.
Nurses are licensed to perform skilled care. So if your loved one requires skilled care such as tube feeding, regular injections, IV therapy or someone to administer medication, a nurse is likely the person you need to have on hand. Nurses are generally only in the home a few hours per week. Nurses are usually in charge of implementing specific instructions set forth by a doctor. Nurses also use assessment skills to help monitor the progress of a patient as they recover from serious illness or injury.
Caregivers, on the other hand, are there to help with activities of daily living as well as to provide companionship for their clients. Caregivers have a personal touch, they develop close ties with those in their care, as they help with the day-to-day needs that a senior might not be able to do on their own any longer. Whether it's bathing, or grocery shopping, or even cooking their meals, a caregiver can help fill in the gap for seniors who otherwise would not be able to continue living on their own.
The professional you need for your loved one will depend on their needs, and unique situation. As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!