This guide covers caregiver duties and the basics of becoming a caregiver for in-home care jobs. Both new caregivers just joining a caregiver career and people returning to caregiving may find this guide useful in understanding a day in the life of caregiver duties.

Caregiver Duties Guide Overview:

  1. Basic Caregiver Duties, Caring for the Elderly
  2. Live in Caregiver Program & Duties
  3. Caregiver Wages


Section 1: Basic Caregiver Duties, Caring for the Elderly In Home

Basic duties for caregivers working in the home revolve around providing care one-on-one for an elderly client.  In home senior care is an alternative to nursing home or assisted living care and often senior respond best to it, as it allows them to get care in familiar surroundings and the comfort of home.

Here’s a quick breakdown of caregiver duties for a non-medical caregiver position:

  1. Following the care plan as directed by supervising nurse.
  2. Assisting with bathing and grooming - This can include but is not limited to: shampooing hair, finger and toenail care, brushing teething, and shower assistance.
  3. Basic food preparation - From grocery shopping to actually preparing the food, it’s important to ensure the senior is displaying proper nutrition.
  4. Medication reminders - Caregivers must assure that medications are taken at the correct time as directed by the doctor.
  5. Light housekeeping – It’s important for caregivers to keep a safe and clean environment. Duties related to housekeeping will typically involve making the bed and and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen
  6. Transferring the client – This refers to transferring the client from chairs, from the toilet, from bed, and to and from a vehicle.
  7. Toileting – It’s important to assist with using the toilet to encourage comfort and prevent any infections
  8. Transportation – If a caregiver has a vehicle and a driver’s license, it’s likely they will help to take the elder around to doctor’s appointment and other activities.
  9. Monitoring changes in client’s health – When following the care plan, the supervising nurse will want to know if there are any changes in health that are concerning and that may need medical attention.
  10. Companionship – Possibly the most important of all caregiver duties, caregivers will be with the elder all day and it’s mutually beneficial if they enjoy each other’s company. It’s a very important part of a caregiver job!


Beyond these basic caregiver duties, duties for caring for an elderly client are highly dependent on their special needs.  No two people are alike and no two caregiving jobs are alike either.  Some seniors are suffering from memory loss while others are sharp as a whip yet struggle getting around and doing simple things like opening the grape jelly.  When it comes to caring for the elderly,  it’s important to keep in mind that caregiver duties vary and being able to adapt and respond are important.

Section 2: Live-in Caregiver Job Duties


Duties for live-in caregiver jobs are the same as non-live caregivers.  However, caregivers will receive a full week worth of pay in 3 overnight visits.  Typically, senior receiving in-home care will have two caregivers that alternate a schedule. The senior is responsible for providing food and a place to sleep.  If you’re interested in learning more specifics about live-in positions, checkout the comprehensive guide to live-caregiver jobs.

Section 3: Caregiver Wages - How Much do Caregivers make?


Caregiver pay can range from minimum wage up to $20 per hour. To be on the high end, caregivers typically have more experience and have a specific set of skills like knowing how to speak a certain language or meet specific certifications.  Additionally, location plays the biggest role in caregiver pay.  The top five states for caregiver pay are as follows:

  • Connecticut
  • Alaska
  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island

The caregiver job outlook is promising and caregiver wages will likely increase as 8,000 baby boomers are retiring each day.

For more specific information on caregiver wages, refer to the myCNAjobs resource guide How Much Do Caregiver Make?

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