Signs that you need to enlist the services of an in-home caregiver
- You find yourself increasingly at a loss as to how to manage the special needs of your parents.
- Your parent is showing signs of rapid deterioration for which you feel ill-equipped to handle.
- You find yourself frequently stressed out beyond your limits.
- You fail to take care of your other responsibilities.
You started off with the purest of intentions to personally take care of your aging parent. You relish a sense of fulfillment in being able to provide personalized care for your loved one. As time goes on, however, aging takes its toll on your parent and you find yourself no longer able to deal with his or her special needs. You are no longer sure of your own capability in providing care simply because you are not trained in geriatric care. It may have started with your parents showing mild physical weakness which only required minimal support from you and other members of the family. Over time however, advancing age or sickness may have removed your parents’ ability to move or communicate, thus compounding your difficulty in providing care. When your parent comes down with Alzheimer’s, senility, stroke or other major health condition, it is time to acknowledge the fact that you may not be the best person– or the only person– to take care of her.
Research shows that family caregivers are often emotionally stressed out and at times even become susceptible to clinical depression. This is not surprising as family caregivers often have to give up rest and recreation in order to sneak hours of senior care into their already hectic schedule. This is true especially for women who are sandwiched between taking care of their own children and providing care for their elderly parents. When you find yourself no longer taking good care of yourself, perhaps you should consider sharing the workload with someone. As much as you want to take care of your parent yourself, you also know that there are many aspects in your life that must also be taken care of. You need to take care of your job in order to support your family and sustain your parents’ needs. You need to take care of yourself—find time to eat, rest and do recreation—in order for you to be better able to take care of those who depend on you.
The benefits of in-home senior care for you and your parents:
- When the retirement home does not seem to fit in with your closed-knit family values,…
- You may have been the sole caregiver for your aging parent for some time now and you have come to the point where you are contemplating on getting some form of help.
Aging marches on its downward course—it’s a fact of life. You must come to terms with the reality that your parents will physically deteriorate– some slowly and gracefully, others more quickly. If, at this time, you are already at a loss as to how manage your parents’ slight physical weakness, consider how helpless you would feel later if your parents are bedridden, hearing impaired or mentally disturbed. Unless you have medical training, you know that it’s only a matter of time but that you will no longer be capable of meeting your parents’ special needs. It’s time you look for help, not just for your sake, but for your parents. Licensed caregivers are trained theoretically and practically to provide care for geriatric patients who have special needs. You will always find a caregiver who has a specialty in a particular area. There are caregivers who specialize in stroke patients, diabetic patients and patients with Alzheimer’s.
Research shows that family caregivers spend anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per week in personally attending to their aging parents. It is no wonder that family caregivers are frazzled and harried as time spent in senior home care is encroaching increasingly on their productivity, rest and family responsibilities.
How can family caregivers reclaim their work-life balance?
There is a spectrum of solutions when it comes to senior home care. On one end is personally taking care of your parents which may be emotionally gratifying for your parents but physically and emotionally draining for you. It will only be a matter of time before you yourself would be rendered unfit to take care of your parents. On the other end of the spectrum is sending your parents to a retirement home which often leaves your parents feeling abandoned and you feeling guilty.
The beauty of in-home caregiver services is that it offers a happy compromise for you and your parents. You can still come home to your parents and personally take care of them from time to time, but at the same time it frees you up to take care of all the other aspects in your life that you should not neglect– like your job, your children and your own me-time. Unlike retirement homes, in-home senior caregiver services can be customized according to your parents’ unique circumstances. Home care services can be for short-term, half-day or round-the-clock. You are free to hire in-home caregivers for only a few days a week corresponding to when you are working, or only occasionally as when you have a trip. You can also opt not to hire home care services for a few days if your siblings are coming over, for example. With home care services, you have utmost freedom in choosing the duration and frequency of availing senior care. This customizable feature translates to another obvious advantage and that is greater affordability of in-home caregiver services over retirement homes. You only pay for the specific hours of home care service you are willing to avail.
In addition to the flexibility a home care service offers with regards to time, home care services can also be tailored according to your parents’ needs. Home care services charge lower rates for simple services such as assisting your parents in getting out of bed, in walking, feeding and in assisting with medication reminders. Rates go higher with more complex needs such as bathing and helping with incontinence issues. Overall, home care services can be perfectly tailored according to your schedule, budget and needs.
Next to the safety of your parents, perhaps another of your major concerns is finding caregivers who go the extra mile to give tender and joyful companionship to your parents. Is it even possible? Yes, it is possible. There are in-home caregiver service companies which hold very high standards with their caregiver training. Good home care services place equal or even greater emphasis on compassion as much as in competence.
And so yes, there are home caregivers who can provide friendship, conversation, motivation and inspiration to keep your aging parents from being lonely and to help improve their physical and mental condition. You can instinctively feel whether or not a home care service company inculcates humane and nurturing values by the very attitude and persona of their caregivers.