Understanding the Different Types of Caregivers

Our care team at Answered Prayer Home Care consists of certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, home health aides, and  trained caregivers . We form a team for our clients with respect to the level of care needed to maintain an independent lifestyle. Our care providers are carefully matched to the preferences of our clients. Understand the different types of caregivers available in this helpful article published January 2018 by AARP.  

Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) are not licensed and have varying levels of experience and training. They serve as helpers and companions — providing conversation, bathing and dressing, neighborhood walks, light housekeeping and meals. They can offer transportation to shopping and appointments, as well as prescription pickup. Training requirements vary by state, and some states do not have formal requirements. PCAs are the least expensive care providers, but they are typically not covered by Medicare or other types of health insurance.

Home Health Aides (HHAs) monitor the client’s condition, check vital signs and assist with the necessary parts of daily living, including bathing, dressing and using the bathroom. HHAs also provide company, do light housekeeping and prepare meals. HHAs are trained and certified, and requirements differ from state to state.

Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) observe and report changes in the client, take vital signs, set up medical equipment, change dressings, clean catheters, monitor infections, conduct range-of-motion exercises, offer walking assistance and administer some treatments. All medical-related tasks are performed as directed by a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP). CNAs also provide personal care — such as feeding, dental help, bathing, bathroom assistance and home tasks that include changing bed linens and serving meals.

Skilled Nursing Providers meet federal standards for health and safety and are licensed by the state. They manage, observe and evaluate your family member’s care, and provide direct care that non-medical and home health aides cannot — including administering IV drugs, tube feedings and shots; changing wound dressings; providing diabetes care; and providing caregiver and client education. Some are trained in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Medicare covers home health skilled nursing care that’s part time and intermittent, and arranged by a Medicare-Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA).

Registered Nurses (RNs) hold a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing (ADN), have passed the NCLEX-RN exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and have met all the other licensing requirements mandated by their state’s board of nursing. They provide direct care, can assist doctors in medical procedures, offer guidance to family members, operate medical monitoring equipment and administer medications.

We offer a complimentary in home assessment to help you determine what level of assistance is required to maintain independence.