This question is very commonly asked when the topic of working with a care manager is proposed to a family. The term caregiver can have many meanings. In a family, it is a person who directly cares for someone else. They are family caregivers or primary caregivers. If the person being cared for lives in assisted living or another living facility, the term caregivers there refers to those on the staff who care for them. If a person lives at home and an agency sends someone to help them in their home, they are sending caregivers. Basically, a caregiver provides hands-on care for another person. They play a vital role in caring for those who need it.

A care manager plays a very different role. They do not provide hands on care for another person; however, they are actively involved in providing recommendations, options, and oversight of the care for the person who is their client. Care managers are professionals with advanced degrees and/or certification who will review a client’s current care situation and use their expertise to create a plan of care that addresses care needs both now and into the future. Often part of a client’s care plan is that they have caregivers taking care of them, whether family, providers in assisted living, or caregivers from an agency. The care manager gets to know the caregivers and can provide coaching and guidance for them as part of the care plan.

Let’s review some specific examples of caregiver tasks:

  • Assist with daily living activities (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, and medication reminders
  • Provide transportation for appointments
  • Offer companionship and emotional support
  • Handle the immediate physical needs and safety of the person in their care
  • Enhance their quality of life and independence
  • Bond emotionally beyond healthcare to personal care
  • Foster engagement by initiating stimulating activities and conversations that cater to the client’s interests
  • Perform certain health care services, ranging from administering medication (QMAP) to monitoring vital signs. (Depending on their training and qualifications along with state regulations.)


And some specific examples of care manager tasks:

  • Conducting comprehensive assessments of a client’s needs
  • Developing a detailed care plan that addresses those needs
  • Coordinating, contacting, and setting appointments with various healthcare providers and service providers
  • Monitoring and adjusting the effectiveness of care plans over time
  • Acting as the main communication bridge between all parties involved, including service professionals, the client, and their family
  • Consulting for medical decision support
  • Monitoring care through home visits, reviewing current and changing needs
  • Handling complex case management across all needed services
  • Reviewing resource allocation and benefits coordination
  • Overseeing the logistical and coordination aspects of care
  • Visiting clients regularly according to the care plan

Break it down in simple terms:

Caregivers are responsible for the direct provision of hands-on care of another person.

Care managers serve as consultants and coaches in an advisory role, providing care options to clients and their families to aid in decision-making.

Though different in function, care managers and caregivers are complementary in the care ecosystem. Care managers and caregivers blend expertise and compassion, exchanging insights to envelop clients in attentive, personalized care, ensuring a collaborative and nurturing approach to the client’s well-being.


Answers for Senior Care DenverAnswers for Senior Care specializes in Care Management Services, collaborating closely with clients, their families, and caregivers to tailor recommendations for superior care. Additionally, our Placement Services assist families in finding the ideal living arrangements for seniors ready to transition from their current homes to supportive and comfortable new environments.

Reach out to us, today, to discuss your care situation and needs.

Phone: (303) 799-1313