The last resort for most seniors is to have to move to a nursing home or an assisted living facility. In an effort to avoid such a fate, some seniors need caregivers. However, there are different types of senior caregivers. You and your children will need to know the differences in order to hire the right person.
Really, it comes down to what kind of help you need, and that will be decided based on your physical condition.
If you are medically sound but need help with daily activities such as meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry, then you could opt for a non-certified aide. These people do not have extensive medical training, if they have any at all. They are trained to provide companionship for seniors and help them with what used to be routine chores. They usually do not provide any kind of direct personal care.
The next step in senior caregivers, if you have health issues, would be a certified nurse’s aide. Qualifications vary from state to state, but certified nurse’s aides haves some level of medical training and they have to pass some kind of exam. The might perform some of the functions of a non-certified aide, but they will also help with personal care such as bathing, using the bathroom, medication and health monitoring.
Finally, we have licensed practical nurses and registered nurses for seniors who have serious health issues and must have a medical professional standing by at all times. Both have extensive medical training and have to pass a series of tests to obtain their licenses. The registered nurse is a step beyond the practical nurse; more training and more exams.
When picking senior caregivers, keep in mind the level of training they have will depend on what your needs are. As you move up the chain, their prices rise, so make sure you make the right choice for you.