Have you found yourself asking these questions recently?
- What is a caregiver?
- How do I find a caregiver?
- What does home healthcare look like?
- What are a caregiver’s duties and responsibilities?
You are not alone. Taking care of an aging parent can be a full time job. Our lives are busy with caring for children, family, and ourselves…adding aging parents to that list can be too much to handle. Hiring an agency to provide caregiving services can provide peace of mind and allow you to focus more on quality time than logistics of care.
What is a Caregiver?
A caregiver can also be referred to as a home healthcare professional, but regardless of the name, it is someone who is specifically trained to meet a wide variety of needs – both physical and emotional, most often for senior citizens. They are a good alternative to nursing homes or long-term care facilities, allowing seniors to remain in their homes, which is usually more comfortable. Caregivers can also help people as they recover from surgery or a severe illness. Caregivers can help with tasks from housekeeping to medication supervision.
What Can a Caregiver do?
Caregivers or home healthcare professionals are there to meet the needs of the senior. Caregivers can help a little or a lot, work for an agency or as an individual, some only focus on medical assistance while others focus on tasks around the home.
- visit the senior daily
- visit a senior occasionally
Why Home Care Services Matter
Home care services let you or your loved one receive extra care in their own home. This can allow seniors to live in their homes longer than they would be able to otherwise, and in a manner that’s safe for them. But figuring out what services are needed can be tough, below is an overview of common services and important considerations when starting or making changes to home care.
What Services Should I Choose?
No two people or situations are alike. When discussing home care services, it is important to consider your overall personal, household, physical, social, and emotional needs. You may also want to ask about how your care will be managed and what the process looks like if you need to make changes to your services.
What Home Care Services to Look For
There are a wide range of home care services offered, below are some of the most important ones.
Personal care includes things like grooming and bathing. It can also include tasks like changing dressings, wound care, and more.
Personal care is important because:
- it helps seniors feel better physically and mentally,
- caregivers can help clean the body better than a senior may be able to on their own,
- bathing or dressing with assistance helps reduce the risk of falls and injuries,
- being proactive with things like infection prevention and incontinence care can help reduce the risk of further health issues and costly hospital stays
Medication reminders can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage on their own, many medications look similar or have similar names. With a variety of times or conditions in which you need to take certain medications, this is an important service to consider.
Caregivers can ensure:
- the right medications are taken at the right time
- medications are taken under the correct conditions – with or without food
- seniors don’t duplicate or skip doses
- pain medicines are carefully monitored
Going to the grocery store, cooking for one, working with dietary restrictions, and other aspects of mealtime can be challenging for seniors. Choosing a meal support care service can make many of those issues easier.
Meal support can involve:
- grocery shopping – either with the senior or on their behalf
- preparing meals
- cleaning up after mealtime
- Ensuring expired food is disposed of properly
Housekeeping services can make you feel more at home by maintaining the basic needs of the house. Having a clean house also reduces the risk of falls or fire hazards and keeps the home safer.
Housekeeping services from a caregiver can include:
- dusting and tidying up
- changing bed sheets and linens
- basic organization
- getting mail and taking out the trash
Mental and emotional health are essential parts to anyone’s overall wellness, which is why companionship is an important service to consider. Caretakers can be a friendly face in times of transition. Caretakers can also provide emotional support around fears and anxieties.
Companionship can include:
- playing games
- sharing stories
- going for walks
- spending quality time together
There is a lot to consider when hiring a caregiver, but with a wide array of services, home care is a great fit for most seniors and provides the most fulfilling life possible at home. We all feel better with a little help.