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Hiring a Caregiver for In-Home Help

6 Strategies to Finding the Right In-Home Caregiver

By , Caring.com senior contributing editor
Last updated: August 26, 2014
95% helpful
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Quick summary

When your loved ones start struggling with everyday tasks, hiring a home care aide can help them remain in their home -- and take some pressure off the rest of the family. Here's help on finding the best care possible.

What is a home care aide?

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At-home caregivers generally fall into three categories: certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care attendants. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) have some medical training and must pass an exam to get a license. They generally work under the supervision of registered nurses. CNAs can check vital signs, care for wounds, and help with everyday activities such as bathing and eating (you'll often hear these referred to as "activities of daily living," or ADLs). Home health aides generally assist with ADLs. And personal care attendants (PCAs), also sometimes called personal companions, assist with household chores like cooking, cleaning, and shopping. The job descriptions of these caregivers can overlap considerably, and they're often referred to interchangeably.