What does a Caregiver/Assistant do?
Caregivers provide a wide range of personal care and support to a variety of people. This support generally entails helping people with their daily living activities, ranging from bathing and grooming to planning and cooking meals to assisting with taking medications. Caregivers generally work with seniors, people recovering from surgery, disabled adults, and veterans. This can take place either in a facility or in the form of in-home care.
Caregivers must have a high school diploma or general education degree (GED). Additionally, most caregivers are required to have a valid license and a registered vehicle, pass a background check, and be well-versed in first aid. The best caregivers are dedicated to helping clients gain more independence and improve their quality of life. This oftentimes means caregivers are compassionate, proactive, and dedicated to serving others.
- Address client needs with respect and attention to safety
- Assist clients with daily living activities, including bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom
- Actively engage clients through conversation and companionship
- Engage with clients in a manner that promotes their independence and maintains their dignity
- Help with meal preparation, planning, and grocery shopping
- Perform light housekeeping duties
- Help clients with physical therapy exercises
- Report any unusual incidents or behavior
- Administer medications as outlined
- Maintain a safe environment for clients
- High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
- Current CPR certification
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Valid driver's license with a registered vehicle that is insured
- Ability to pass a background check
- Current first aid certification
- Ability to read and speak English
- Ability to pass a required TB test and physical exam
- Proven ability to behave with respect and compassion
- Possess a professional and upbeat attitude
- Ability to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds
Average Base Pay
Caregiver/Assistant Career Path
Learn how to become a Caregiver/Assistant, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
“Each day is different and if you do enjoy caring for people this job is great.”
“It is a great work/life balance and most of the clients seem to be easy to work with.”
“The best parts of the job was helping people and seeing a smile on their face.”
“The best managers and coordinators I've worked with seem to have quit or been fired.”
“There was lovely manager when I started but she left and after was only disaster.”
“When you have a great team and everyone shows up to work every day it’s nice.”
“Some management was very unhelpful and didn't always agree on the best way to approach situations.”
“The pay is well below average for the work and there are hardly any benefits.”
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of caregivers
The typical day of a caregiver involves assisting individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to illness, injury, or disability. Daily tasks may include preparing meals, performing housework, providing transportation, assisting with personal hygiene, picking up groceries or medications, and monitoring the individual's overall health.
Caregiving is an excellent career for those who are passionate about helping others. An advantage of being a caregiver is having the opportunity to make a difference in someone's daily life by providing essential care. Becoming a caregiver requires minimal education, so it's a good option for people who are anxious to get to work without years of schooling.
Working as a caregiver can be very stressful, as you're responsible for the health and wellness of others. One challenge of being a caregiver is that those who routinely work with the elderly may also have to handle the passing of their clients which can be very emotional.