No, a non-medical home care provider or agency cannot dispense medicine. They cannot offer any form of medical procedures to clients.
They are not allowed to administer medications, give injections for insulin or other drugs, and cannot monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar or other physical indicators.
Providing non-medical care simply entails assisting elderly or disabled persons in carrying out their activities of daily living (ADLs) and necessary activities of daily living (IADLs).
Note that these activities include assistance with eating, bathing and maintaining personal hygiene, dressing, toileting, and basic mobility, preparing meals, transportation assistance, light housecleaning, laundry, and shopping for essentials.
Non-medical care is best defined as care or assistance offered by individuals without formal medical training. Note that this sort of care is usually provided by friends, spouses, and other family members. But, there is a well-organized industry of private caregivers and even public employees who offer these services on an hourly basis.
Even most Adult daycare facilities in the United States offer non-medical care to adults during daytime hours. Regardless of where the service is being provided, nonmedical home care plays a vital role in ensuring that seniors sustain their independence, allowing them to continue to live in the comfort of their own homes.
Although these services might be temporary, for instance, during recuperation from an illness or injury, but it can also be needed indefinitely due to the natural irony of aging.
For seniors who reside with a relative who sees to these needs, non-medical care can be received in the form of respite care (in-home or out-of-home).
Note that this respite care offers primary caregivers a break from their caregiving duties. In addition, non-medical care offers sanity and peace of mind to family members, especially when they know their loved ones have someone caring for them.
Basic Duties of a Non-Medical Home Care Provider or Caregiver
The duties of a non-medical home care provider can vary from one client to another. The most common tasks for nonmedical home care providers include:
Have it in mind that transportation is a primary issue for the elderly and disabled. A good number of seniors in the United States are outliving their ability to safely drive by 7 to 10 years but still take to the road frequently, thereby putting their lives and others in danger.
Instead of depending on themselves to attend and get to appointments, pharmacies, or stores, a good number of older adults prefer to enlist the services of a caregiver.
Note that one of the main responsibilities of a non-medical home care provider is to offer transportation to and from activities as well as be there to assist patients in and out of wheelchairs when necessary.
Home Management And Care Planning
Note that it can be very challenging to ascertain just how much of commitment caregiving can place on others. However, one pertinent way to ensure proper coverage for all tasks is to establish a detailed care plan to coordinate the home and the health responsibilities.
This plan should be created with the input of the medical team, family members, and all those offering other vital services. From this, a basic time and money budget can be conceived to set proper expectations for care.
Assisting With Meals And Nutrition
According to experts on senior care, it is barely enough to ask a caregiver to make just meals. Since a good number of older adults lose their appetites and take in fewer calories as they age, the food they eat is expected to be of the best nutrition possible.
It is also imperative to consider if foods will interact with their medications or cause specific ailments to become worse, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Owing to that, anyone handling grocery shopping, meal planning, and food preparation should work side by side with a nutritionist to ensure all meals and snacks align with the care plan of the senior.
At the very initial stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, patients tend to struggle. They may become more forgetful and angry owing to the increased confusion.
Family members may feel guilty as they’re unable to provide around-the-clock care. However, having an experienced caretaker in place can help.
Aside from that fact that it offers stability and companionship, it allows the family to feel at ease knowing that their loved one is constantly supervised and cared for.
According to reports, loneliness and depression are common issues that lead to a decreased quality of life among seniors.
Although family visits and social activities may happen from time to time, a good number of seniors feel alone in between engagements. Owing to that, one of the duties of a non-medical home care provider is to provide constant and reliable companionship.
Another caregiver’s duty is to supervise patients while also presenting them someone to talk to on a daily basis. Also, note that providers may even have ideas as to how to take up new hobbies or cultivate new friendships.
These types of emotional support systems allow each senior to continue living the social aspects of their lives. It is a source of stability required to enjoy life throughout their golden years.
Help With Personal Hygiene And Care
For a good number of older folks, help only becomes essential once they start having issues with the more intimate tasks of daily life, known as the activities of daily living (ADLs).
Obtaining assistance with bathing, using the toilet, cleaning up after being sick or washing and combing their hair can be an essential step for aging in place. Since it’s a delicate topic, it is very necessary that the caregiver is kind natured and patient.
Indeed, it can be very challenging for a family member to come to terms with the signs of aging that their elders may display. A good number of families barely know how to help or how to cope with the situation. Owing to that, a non-medical home caregiver is available for both patient and family support.
They offer extensive education, ideas, and methods to make family life easier. Note that with the aid of an in-home caregiver, family members can remain independent while still providing the care that their loved ones need.
Even though a non-medical home care provider is not allowed to offer any medical-related services, they might still need to take on the role of advocate to ensure that appointments are being made, medicines are adequately prescribed and issues are noticed earlier and addressed far before they become a life-threatening situation.
Also, note that they may be required to look over health insurance paperwork, billing statements, and doctor’s orders to make sure the senior loved one isn’t being overcharged or treated in a manner inconsistent with their care plan.
Even though the senior more or less has someone taking care of their finances (usually a power of attorney), some support tasks can be assigned to a non-medical home care provider.
These tasks may include mailing a utility payment or even preparing taxes. The person tasked with these functions should be trusted and capable. Anyone that has access to bank accounts or checkbooks and debit cards needs to pass a background check, at the least.
In the United States, note that a non-medical home care employee cannot dispense medication and cannot offer any form of medical procedures to clients.
Many states have regulations that require non-medical caregivers to have background checks and licenses, while many other states do not. However, even in states that mandate such; caregivers often work privately and receive payment under the table.