Home care in Bedford, NH

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The Five Different Types of Caregivers: Everything You Need to Know When Hiring the Right Caregiver for Your Loved One

What Is Caregiving?

For years, Lousia has cared for her aging mother with dedication and love. After working hard for so long, the toll is beginning to show in Lousia's life. She hasn't been able to spend as much time with her husband and children as she would like, and high stress has become a regular part of her life. The family makes a difficult decision: they must find a professional caregiver for Lousia's mother.

Many families today face the predicament that Lousia and her family do. From aging parents to elderly friends, children and friends often drain themselves through loving care for their elderly relatives. However, there is another option for family caregivers who work to help their relatives enjoy functional, beautiful lives. 

Professional caregivers administer care in a variety of ways. Generally speaking, there are five types of caregivers in today's medical world. From the registered nurse to the unlicensed hire who helps grandma cook her meals, caregivers can perform many tasks and have different skill sets. Sometimes the choice between two candidates seems daunting, but a simple investigation into the responsibilities each caregiver has greatly simplifies the choice. With a large selection of each of these positions, BrightStar Care of Bedford is here to make home care for your loved one a simple and smooth transition.

Five Different Types of Caregivers

Registered Nurse (RN)

The first and most well-known professional caregiver is the registered nurse (RN). Of course, everyone knows that registered nurses work in hospitals, but they also work in assisted living homes and their elderly patients' homes. Not only does this option bring the caregiver with the highest skill set right to the family's doorstep, but it also provides an opportunity for the patient to remain in his home. 

Registered nurses are highly trained individuals. They must pass a state certification exam and continue their studies while in practice. This allows them to refresh and grow their medical knowledge. Because of this certification, nurses perform many valuable tasks, especially for patients with more acute and specific needs. Registered nurses perform basic caregiving tasks like keeping track of symptoms and ensuring the patient receives his daily dose of medication. They also educate the family on the patient's situation, create plans for the patient's medical care, and perform many other essential tasks. Registered nurses also present doctor's orders from various specialists to families in a way that paints the big picture and helps them make the best decision for their loved ones. 

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Different from registered nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) have undergone less training to receive their licenses. This means that they usually have a smaller repertoire of abilities. These nurses still perform essential tasks like patient immunization, understanding patient ailments, and establishing a treatment plan. Licensed practical nurses often work with teams and can manage their stress levels, multitask, and make decisions well. These nurses can provide in-home care for patients with noticeable needs that do not warrant the watch of a registered nurse.

Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)

A licensed nursing assistant (LNA), or CNA, performs very similar tasks to an LPN. For example, their skill set includes clear communication with patients, documenting patient diet, and keeping track of vitals. These nurses have less training than an LPN, so they do not perform more complex medical tasks like a registered nurse or an LPN does. Because the position of LNA is considered an entry-level hospital position, the LNA can work in-home providing hospital-level care, but can not perform the variety of tasks that RNs or LPNs do. A licensed practical nurse could be perfect for families looking for basic, knowledgeable care for their loved ones, but not the full skills a registered nurse provides.

Home Health Aid (HHA)

For families searching for one step up from the care they can give, there is the Home Health Aid (HHA). Home Health Aids often focus their time on patients who are elderly, suffer from chronic illnesses, or have long-term disabilities. This means that while they can help patients perform their daily tasks, keep their homes clean, and organize their medical schedule, a home health aid has less experience helping with major medical issues. However, because the home health aid has experience working with patients with different needs, they can provide more care than a family member in the home.


The last and least trained option is the professional caregiver. These individuals have no specific medical training. Instead, they communicate with their patients, help with medication, and monitor things like body temperature and unusual behavior in their patients. The benefits of having a simple caregiver are numerous. For example, they focus on keeping the patient's mental health in good shape and building patient-caregiver relationships. If the need is for someone to watch and monitor the patient, not to help with complex medical issues, a caregiver may be the right fit.


Which Caregiver Is Right for You?

Although many families face the same difficulties as Lousia, those challenges do not have to continue. The option of in-home caregiving provides a safe and healthy alternative, offering caregivers with a variety and range of skills. When searching for the right caregiver for you and your family, considering the environment from which the caregiver comes is crucial. BrightStar Care of Bedford offers nurses of all five types who come from a compassionate and friendly environment. From the unlicensed but loving caregiver to the registered nurse, BrightStar Care of Bedford is here to work with you in finding the right caregiver for you and your family. The nurses and staff hope to bless you with a helping hand in this season, making it easier for you and your loved ones. BrightStar Care of Bedford happily offers compassion and the best standards of care through any of its five caregiver positions.


Schedule a free consultation today, or if you are a nurse looking to work in a compassionate environment held to a higher standard, apply today.