Growing older is a great privilege of life that is denied to many. However, some people do not age as well as others, and as an adult child, it may be extremely difficult to come to terms with how age affects a parent.
You may have never imagined that your parent would age poorly, but when they do, the responsibility of their care generally tends to fall onto the shoulders of adult children, a spouse, or other close relatives.
This may leave you at a loss about your options for elderly care and companionship, especially if you don’t have the capacity, skill, or finances to support an aging parent. This is where elder care is your saving grace. Learn all about what to expect from the help of an in-home caregiver in this blog.
Options For Elderly Care: What to Consider Before Hiring a Caregiver
The overall mental and physical decline of a loved one often results in drastic changes to their quality of life and emotional stability. Taking on the task as a full-time caregiver to an ill or frail parent is a massive undertaking, and perhaps one that you cannot manage on your own.
If a parent is living with you as you care for them throughout their final years, the help of a caregiver could do wonders for their physical wellbeing and emotional stability — as well as yours. But before you hire an extra pair of hands, you’ll need to assess the extent of care your loved one’s needs.
Here’s what to consider:
Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living (ADLs) refer to the basic actions required for physical and emotional well-being throughout your daily life. What type of ADLs is your parent still capable of carrying out themselves?
- Functional mobility — i.e. getting out of a bed or a chair
- Personal hygiene, including grooming activities, brushing teeth
- Toilet hygiene
Other more complex forms of ADLs are known as instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Some of these tasks include cooking and preparing meals, cleaning, driving, running errands, managing finances, sticking to a daily routine, taking necessary prescribed medications, and more.
Before you hire a caregiver, assess the extent of how independent your parent really is based on these ADLs. It’s incredibly important to their overall well-being that these ADLs are taken care of consistently and effectively.
What to Expect From an In-Home Caregiver
An in-home caregiver’s service covers everything you need it to be to offer your parent the best whole-person care possible. They provide assistance with all necessary ADLs, while also monitoring and transporting your loved one. They also offer light housekeeping services and a great source of companionship.
Essentially, an in-home caregiver is far more than just a ”babysitter” for your loved one. Caregivers are highly skilled and take a genuine interest in the well-being and care of your parent.
However, it’s important to remember that a caregiver does not always provide the same health services provided by medical professionals. In-home caregivers are trained and certified, but their focus is primarily on daily living. Should your parent require complex health-care related tasks, it’s important to hire a caregiver suited to these tasks.
A broad scope of the services offered by an in-home caregiver include, but are not limited to:
- Meal preparation
- Medication dispensing and monitoring
- Personal care tasks
- Light housekeeping
- Assistance with ambulation
- Running basic errands, such as food shopping
Many in-home care agencies also offer caregivers with experience in incontinence care, heavy transfers, as well as Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
A Caregiver’s Work Schedule
You may require a caregiver on a permanent basis, depending on your loved one’s level of health. Otherwise, caregivers generally work in shifts, with a minimum number of hours per shift. You will generally be charged per hour for each shift.
It’s important to remember that you will be charged shift rates, and may have to pay more for their assistance over holidays, weekends, and throughout the night.
The Benefits of Hiring an In-Home Caregiver
Other than physical, emotional, and mental support, the help of a caregiver offers profound benefits for not only you but your aging parent, too. Some of the stand-out benefits of caregiver support include:
1. An Increased Sense of Independence
This applies to both you and your loved one. For your parent, the help of a caregiver allows them to age-in-place in a space that’s comfortable and familiar. They don’t need to fear the thought of being put in a nursing home and completely losing their independence.
For you, the assistance of a caregiver offers you increased freedom to live a balanced life with the peace-of-mind that your parent is well cared for.
2. Keep Your Home in Order
The full-time care of an aging loved one can take its toll. You may start to lose control of your own life, the state of your home, and your own well-being without additional support.
An in-home caregiver can help you to find the right type of balance and keep your home in working order. This includes taking care of tasks such as laundry, cooking, food shopping, and other chores.
3. Your Loved One Receives Private Attention
In-home caregiving offers one-on-one attention. There’s no risk of your parent feeling neglected or their personal needs not being met. This private attention gives you peace-of-mind, and while ensuring your parent understands that their health and well-being is a priority.
4. The Best Chance of Living in Good Health
With the personal care offered by an in-home caregiver, your parent has a real chance of living out the last years of their life in the healthiest way possible. Even if their health is already at a low point, in-home caregiving provides physical support, mental stimulation, and emotional companionship. These are the basic necessities of what all people deserve for a healthy life.
Find the Best In-Home Caregiving Services For Your Loved Ones
At Stowell Associates, we provide some of the best options for elderly care you could ask for. Whether it’s in-home care management, personalized in-home caregiving, or advanced care, our team is here to support your loved one’s needs.
If you’re looking for reliable, intuitive, and experienced in-home caregivers, get the care you need, here.