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What Are The Different Types Of At Home Caregivers?

What are the Different Types Of At Home Caregivers?

Growing up as headstrong teenagers full of energy and endless dreams, we seek as much independence as we can find. We finally grasp it in adulthood and treasure the freedom to go where we want and be who we want. But at the other end of our age spectrum, some things get a little more difficult. In fact, there comes a point when many of us will not be able to perform everyday tasks we took for granted through all the years prior.

The crux of losing some of our independence is the inability to do things that directly affect quality of life. Preparing a meal may become an arduous chore, running errands wears us out, remembering to take the right medication at the required time, maintaining a sound diet and lifestyle, housecleaning, and personal care duties.

At a young age, all those things seem simple and you don’t give them a second thought but with passing years the simple becomes complicated and stressful. Often times it starts gradually with more reliance on family members to handle home maintenance or pick up groceries or stop at the pharmacy. Soon enough the scenario gets more frustrating and inconvenient and at some point you might consider hiring a reputable and qualified home caregiver.

With that decision come questions. What is in-home care all about? Will my loved one be in good hands? How do I arrange in-home care? To start, it is helpful to know that there are two general categories of home caregivers: licensed professionals who provide medical care, and caregivers serving as companions and aides.

Different types of caregivers offer different levels of service depending on the scenario but the ultimate goal of all caregivers is to help people live as independently as possible in their own home.

Why Hire a Home Caregiver?

When a person loses their wherewithal or desire to manage daily tasks, a home support worker is one of the best and valuable options to allow that person to continue living in their own home. It also offers a great deal of comfort in the event of potential accidents or health issues. However, if you’ve never been in this situation, either as a family member or person in need, it can be daunting knowing which type of caregiver to hire. Indeed, there are many different types with specific qualifications, experience, and expertise. Seniors and their families will do well to be aware of caregiver categories to best match their particular needs.

Different Types of At Home Caregivers

Registered Nurse

Arguably the most recognized type of caregiver, registered nurses (RNs) are medical professionals qualified to work in and out of hospital environments. An RN can provide assistance with rehabilitation regimes and other post-treatment needs from medication and nutrition to diet and daily exercise. RNs are common aides for follow-up care for recently discharged patients, or in the event of long-term care.

RNs are also excellent home care choices for seniors who have had a major surgery event or perhaps are attempting to recover from a serious medical condition.

Personal Care Aide

A personal care aide is often regarded as the most common type of home caregiver. PCAs are typically hired to assist elderly or disabled people with daily living chores and activities, either in a patient’s home or in care facilities. Personal care aides do a little of everything including housekeeping chores like cleaning the house, doing dishes, washing clothes, preparing meals and attending to personal needs. Some PCAs also pitch in with transportation to medical appointments and other errands.

Home Health Aide

A home health aide is very similar to a personal care aide in that they offer in-home care and assistance. HHAs, however, come with training and licensing in their state which typically provides patients with the comfort of someone able to quickly recognize and understand an array of medical issue symptoms.

Physical Therapists

Loss of mobility often becomes an issue for elderly people and when this happens, a physical therapist (PT) is a valuable resource. PTs are professionally trained to work with individuals having difficulty moving around, and they also help seniors manage the travails of joint replacement surgery. In the end, a physical therapist’s goal is to help people get back to moving safely in their home and surrounding environments.

Benefits of Home Caregivers

Home caregivers bring many benefits, starting of course with the comfort of having a professional in close connection with your health needs in your own home. Other benefits also come into play:

  • Home care provides personal care from a professional who will give you’re their full focus.
  • Home care today is affordable, which is a big plus in the big health care picture. In fact, a home caregiver is more affordable than committing to a care facility.
  • Patients retain independence and can stay close to their family.

The comfort of a trained professional looking after your health care needs makes your golden years that much brighter.


If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices in Campbell, CAPleasanton, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.