What to Expect When Becoming a Caregiver


Being a caregiver is a fulfilling and rewarding job. Like any occupation, it has its challenges, but it offers people the opportunity to connect with and support patients and families. For those looking for advice about caregiving as a career, here are some things you need to know.

What are the responsibilities of a caregiver?

Caregivers are people with a strong passion for looking after the well-being of others. They provide support to aging clients and those who have difficulty performing daily living tasks on their own. The person receiving care is likely able to stay at their home but needs some assistance to remain independent.

Caregiver Duties

The duties of a caregiver vary depending on the client’s needs and can include a range of activities, like providing companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and helping with personal care. Caregivers offer physical, mental, and emotional support to enhance the day-to-day lives of their patients. 

If you work at a home care agency like Westchester Family Care, you will travel to the client’s home and provide personal assistance. Here are some activities caregivers will perform:

  • Companionship
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation and cooking
  • Medication reminders
  • Personal care with bathing, dressing, and toileting
  • Transportation
  • Communicating with other caregivers, administrators, registered nurses, and family members

As mentioned, duties change depending on the patient’s needs. Some clients have minimal health concerns, while others may be living with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. A caregiver’s day-to-day obligations vary, as each client is unique. 

The Day to Day Life of a Caregiver


A caregiver is a professional, reliable presence in the home that enriches the lives of seniors and those who need a helping hand to remain independent. Home care provides an opportunity to work one-on-one with clients and develop a long-term relationship with them and their families. As a caregiver, the care you provide is impactful. It’s essential to be a people person, open-minded, and compassionate. 

Depending on your client’s needs, you may arrive to prepare meals and help them get dressed and ready for the day. You might drive clients to a doctor’s appointment or go out for a walk. For caregivers hired by an agency, you’ll interact with fellow caregivers on the team and communicate with the office. You may also relay information to the client or their family members. 

Agency vs. Direct Hire

Working as a caregiver, you may be hired directly by the family or employed with a home care agency. If you are hired directly by a family, they become the employer and are fully responsible for your compensation and benefits. Choosing to work with a full-service home care agency can offer more stability and choice.

  1. Home care agencies are bonded, insured, and cover their employees under worker’s compensation. Independent or direct hire caregiver do not carry their own liability insurance or worker’s compensation.
  2. Home care agencies offer a team approach and are able to provide additional caregivers to cover shifts and provide care as a team. Working as an independent means that you might be the only caregiver providing care for that family.
  3. Caregiving agencies provide clients with a range of needs, and you will be matched with those clients based on your ability and what works best for you. 
  4. Home care agencies handle training, and employers like Westchester Family Care offer classes to become certified Home Health Aids (HHAs) and Certified Nurse Aids (CNAs). 

Caregiver Training

Some caregivers enter into the position with years of experience, while others are brand new. If you choose to work for a caregiving agency and have little or no formal experience, they will provide training to ensure that patients in your care receive high-quality services. 

Continuing education gives caregivers the ability to hone their skills and broader options for helping others. Many caregivers start with minimal experience and, over time, become part of the administrative team, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN). A more well-rounded education means more opportunities for growth and assisting a wider variety of patients.

Words of Advice for New Caregivers

  • Be understanding. A little compassion goes a long way and is the most essential trait a caregiver can have. You make a difference in the life of every client you interact with, and it starts by being enthusiastically interested in people and compassionate toward their needs. 
  • Be patient. Every job has its unique challenges and rewards, and caregiving is the same. Be patient with yourself, and let that transcend into your every interaction. Caregivers require an extra dose of patience.
  • Be ready to learn. Every patient has unique needs and requires varying levels of care. New caregivers may need time to understand the nuance of home care, so ask team members for help. 

Caregiving with Westchester Family Care

We are always looking for compassionate caregivers at Westchester Family Care. We are proud of our caregivers’ fantastic work and can provide meaningful opportunities to expand your career in a supportive environment. Join our award-winning team today.

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