This depends on the needs and the agreement with the agency or caregiver.
Some agency caregivers are LPNs and can give medications, but most are CNAs and cannot do that. However, state laws vary, as well. Most in-home caregivers are there for companionship, help with light meals, sometimes bathing, often dressing and hygiene, running errands with or without the elder. They provide many services and generally charge by the hour. They are wonderful for providing respite care for the primary caregiver.
If you are looking for in-home care, try calling several agencies and talking over the needs of your loved one. You'll then get a feel for what each agency can offer and what they charge.
There are different levels of homecare available, and while not all homecare agencies will offer all levels, it may be helpful to know the differences. "Companions" are caregivers who simply provide supervision and stimulation for those persons who should not be left alone. "Home attendants" or "personal care attendants (or PCAs)" are caregivers who will help out with more of the house-keeping chores and tasks (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.), as well as assisting with some of the basic activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing. "Home health aides" are those caregivers who can assist with personal care as well as health care functions such as checking vital signs and monitoring symptoms. When hiring a caregiver, it is important to discuss with the agency exactly what your loved one's care needs and expectations are. Also, it may be helpful to get in writing from the agency what duties and tasks the aide is allowed and expected to do during a work shift. You might also want to check what types of caregiving your insurance will cover, if any.
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