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What Are 4 Types of Caregivers?

November 2, 2023

For individuals no longer capable of caring for themselves, whether due to age, illness, or other circumstances, someone near them will need to step up to provide them with assistance. We refer to this necessary role of support, which encompasses services like personal care, medical assistance, and emotional support, as caregiving.

Caregiving is a broad discipline, and the scope of support provided will depend on the individual in need of care. For example, in-home companion care often specializes in professionals who provide companionship and assist with household tasks rather than medical support and personal care, which can be hugely helpful for overburdened family members.

Read on as we discuss the many kinds of caregivers available to the elderly.

What Are the Three Levels of Caregiving?

There are many types of caregivers for elderly from all kinds of backgrounds, each bringing unique skills to the table and (hopefully) being appreciated for the crucial services that they provide by those receiving them. People generally talk about the following three levels of caregiving:

  1. Informal caregiving.
  2. Intermediate caregiving.
  3. Professional caregiving.

Let’s dive into the specifics of what these levels of caregiving mean. 

What Are the Different Types of Caregiving?

First, let’s cover some of the many types of professional caregivers available to those in need. These can include:

  • Nurses: Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide medical care.
  • Nursing Assistants: Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) assist with activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Home Health Aides: Home health aides provide personal care and support at clients' homes.
  • Therapists: Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists offer specialized care and rehabilitation services.


There are also multiple kinds of unpaid informal and intermediate caregivers. These include:

    • Family caregivers. Family members are often the first and closest caregivers that an aging individual will have by their side.
    • Informal caregivers. These include anyone who offers to help out, such as neighbors or day sitters for the elderly electing to do grocery runs or friends who assist with errands or transportation.
    • Volunteer caregivers. Sometimes, individuals or non-profit groups provide helpful caregiving assistance on a regular volunteer basis.

What Is the Most Common Type of Caregiver?

The most common type of caregiver is often the most accessible one: the family caregiver. This is because they are typically the individuals who love an aging individual the most and are closest in both emotional care and physical proximity. Oftentimes, the person in need of support already lives with or near family members who are willing to step up further into their care. While most family caregiving roles are selfless in nature, some states do compensate family caregivers in paid Medicaid and state-specific programs.

What Are 4 Types of Caregivers?

We’ve covered multiple kinds of caregivers in this blog. Here are the most widely seen 4 types of caregivers:

  1. Professional caregivers. Those who are trained, certified, and employed to provide care services are known as professional caregivers. This caregiving category has the widest range of options, as healthcare professionals can specialize in specific areas of caregiving as they choose. 
  2. Family caregivers. Parents, spouses, children, and siblings of those in need of care are the most common kinds of caregivers, often alongside professional, volunteer, or informal assistance. 
  3. Volunteer caregivers. Those who provide unpaid support to those in need of caregiving services are another common kind of caregiver.
  4. Informal caregivers. A final kind of caregiver includes friends, neighbors, and acquaintances who offer support for someone’s care needs.

What Are the Qualities of a Caregiver?

Caregiving is a critical profession that is, unfortunately, currently facing a shortage. While caregivers will range in backgrounds and skill sets, there are usually some key qualities they have that make them ripe for these important assistive roles. A few of these include:

  • Kindness, compassion, and empathy.
  • Patience.
  • Cultural sensitivity.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow directions.
  • Good memory.
  • Willingness to learn.

How Senior Home Companions Can Help

Considering hiring extra help for the aging loved ones in your life? Senior Home Companions has been leading the senior companion industry for more than 30 years with companion caregiving specialized to your family’s and loved one’s needs. Reach out today to learn more about the benefits of in-home companionship.