Does a Nurse Provide the Same Services as a Caregiver?

It may be time for find someone to come into your parents' home to provide services for their care. You may be wondering if they need a companion, caregiver, or someone skilled, such as a nurse. A companion or caregiver would be hired to help with daily activities and provide someone who can spend time with your parent. They may spend most of their time in the home with your parent, helping them with things they can no longer do for themselves, such as taking out the trash, preparing lunch, or starting a load of laundry. They may also spend part of the time running errands, either without your parent, or with your parent, depending on their capabilities. Errands include visiting the doctor, getting prescriptions filled, grocery shopping, or going to the post office.

Nurses, on the other hand, are licensed to perform skilled care. If your parent requires skilled care such as tube feeding, regular injections, IV therapy or someone to administer medication, a nurse is the one who can fill that need. Nurses usually visit the home for a few hours per week and have specific instructions to follow from a doctor and/or case manager. Nurses will assess the condition of your parent and help monitor their progress, especially if they are recovering from a serious illness or injury.

You may find that at times, your parent needs both a skilled nurse and a caregiver. You may need to assess as time goes by, and make adjustments to the type of care and amount of care needed. Be sure to check with the doctor, nurse, or case manager if you are not sure what type of care or how much care is needed.


Information above was adapted from information provided by Caring Senior Service.