If you have aging parents who need care, you might be wondering if family caregiving is the best option to take care of your loved ones. It’s a tough choice to make — you’re trying to provide the best quality care possible while also balancing you and your family’s needs. Learn more about family caregiving versus professional caregivers for the elders in order to make the best choice for your loved one.
Here are a few things to think about if you’re considering family caregiving for the elderly:
- While caregiving can be rewarding, it can also be very challenging for family caregivers. It’s common for people in this situation to develop caregiver stress, which can cause health problems and other issues, including anxiety, depression, and chronic diseases. You might feel overwhelmed by how much time and energy you need to spend taking care of a loved one.
- After a long period of caring for someone, you may experience caregiver burnout, which is when you are emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. That’s why it’s so important that you, as a caregiver, have the support you need to stay positive, focused, and healthy. Involve as many family members as possible so you can split up caregiving tasks.
- It’s easy for caregiving to take over your entire life. Remember to spend time with family or friends, and do things just for you, such as a hobby or being involved with a social group.
What other choices do you have for taking care of your older loved ones?
One option is to work with a licensed home care agency, which provides home care aides to help older adults with dressing, cooking, taking medicine, and other daily tasks. A home care agency finds qualified aides who are experienced and provide the best care possible.
If you use a home care agency, make sure they are licensed in your state and if health insurance will cover their services.
In some cases, a loved one may need care and guidance when dealing with a health issue, such as surgery or a heart condition. If so, they may need support from a geriatric care manager specialist who can help individuals so they can understand their care options. These specialists can assist patients in getting a second opinion and prepare them for recovery or long-term care.
If an older adult decides to stay at his or her current home, it may need modifications to make it safer and easier to live in. A home modification specialist can make changes such as installing a wheelchair ramp, a home elevator, or a home stair lift.
Other modifications are simpler, but make a big difference in the quality of life. These changes include installing grab bars in a bathroom, widening a doorway, or putting a pull handle on a door. This can prevent a person from falling and getting seriously injured. Get started by looking at each room and note things that might be an issue.
When round-the-clock care is needed, a senior living facility placement specialist can help you find the right facility to provide quality care for a loved one. A specialist looks at how much care a person needs and what insurance will pay for care.
Get Professional Caregiving for Elders
To learn more about family caregivers, or professional caregivers and their services, contact the Long-Term Living Association (LTLA) at 1-800-868-1193 or visit their website at longtermliving.org.