Caregiver Types and Qualifications

Finding The Best Caregiver Type For Your Needs

When it comes time to hire a caregiver for your aging family member, to make sure that your loved one receives the best care, it’s essential to know the difference between the different caregiver types. Typically, the different types of professional caregivers include:

  • Personal Care Assistant (PCA)
  • Home Health Aide (HHA)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

PCAs, HHAs, and CNAs all work with seniors and disabled patients on a daily basis. They help with everyday homemaking and companion care activities such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, toileting, moving around, running errands, and performing light housekeeping tasks.

What You Should Know About The Caregiver Types

Each caregiver type has its own set of rules and regulations to follow:


There is no training requirement for a PCA. A PCA provides care at home and helps with tasks such as bathing, shopping, homemaking, and running errands. On average, a PCA makes about $9-13/hour.


In Massachusetts, there is training provided for HHAs, although requirements vary by state. HHAs provide personal care at home, including in private homes, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, group homes, or other transitional housing. Many Community colleges and vocational schools provide HHA Training or have an HHA component in their CNA training programs. On average, an HHA makes about $9-13/hour.


Unlike PCAs and HHAs, CNAs may work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP). They perform medical-related tasks such as taking vital signs, changing dressings, cleaning catheters, controlling infections, and administering treatments. Specifically, HHAs work with patients at home.

CNAs may also work in hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, daycare centers, and skilled nursing facilities. In Massachusetts, CNAs must complete a state-approved training, which includes HHA training. On average, CNA wages are slightly higher than for an HHA. In Massachusetts, a CNA makes about $12-$15/hour.


Meetcaregivers Can Help You Find The Right Caregiver Type

The choice of using a PCA, HHA, or CNA depends on the level of the patient’s care and medical needs. If you are not sure, it is a good idea to get an evaluation and recommendation from an independent care manager or other qualified professional before making a hiring decision.

You can also contact us with any questions (1-888-541-1136).

Read our blog for more information and resources for any questions you have about finding and hiring caregivers for your loved one.

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