cooking with older adult womanYou’ve recently brought in an in-home caregiver to look after Mom. You’re breathing a sigh of relief — finally, someone will be there to take her to her doctor’s appointments and make sure she’s safe and healthy.

But there’s something you’re not sure about: will the caregiver take over household tasks like cooking and cleaning? You know you’ve selected a caregiver, not a maid. So what kinds of homemaking services are reasonable to expect?

A caregiver can be expected to provide light housekeeping services as part of his or her duties. Here are the kinds of homemaking services you can expect your loved one’s caregiver to perform:

  • Meal planning and cooking
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking and clean-up
  • Emptying the kitchen and bathroom trash
  • Wiping up the kitchen floors, counters and appliances
  • Wiping up the bathroom sink, tub, and toilet
  • Sweeping the floor and general “tidying up”
  • Making the bed
  • Changing the bed linens
  • Laundry (clothes and linens)
  • Dusting and vacuuming 
  • Watering plants

And these are homemaking tasks that aren’t part of the caregiver’s duties:

  • Moving furniture
  • Hanging drapes
  • Cleaning the entire home
  • Taking care of other family members
  • Washing windows or walls
  • Cleaning the stove, refrigerator, attic, closets or cellar
  • Polishing brass or silver
  • Raking leaves, shoveling snow, or other outside duties
  • Banking duties, including paying bills, filling in checks, accepting signed-over checks, conducting credit transactions of any type, safeguarding valuables, and handling cash in excess of what is needed to cover requested items (such as groceries)

Accepting a new person into your loved one’s home can be strange at first. But with a clear understanding of the caregiver’s role, and a little time, a caregiver can become an integral — and often, even loved — part of the household. For more information about homemaking services, click here.

What was it that made you begin to consider non-medical in-home care? Share with us in the comments.