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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Caregiver Duties: What To Expect and Not Expect

smiling nurse with elderly woman in a wheelchair

As people age it generally becomes harder and harder to do the everyday things that they once did. That’s why many seniors rely on the help of friends and family to take care of simple things in their life that become difficult. This is especially true for seniors with health problems or cognitive disabilities who may simply no longer be able to help themselves the way they once did.

While facilities designed specifically for seniors who need help are abundant, these aren’t right for every elderly individual. In fact, many simply don’t want to leave their home, and these facilities can cost a great deal of money – something many families can’t afford.

That’s why many people turn to a caregiver that comes to the senior’s home for at home care. It doesn’t uproot their life and it can be a more economical method of caring for a senior in a compassionate way.

However, not everybody understands what they’re going to get from a caregiver.

Expect Day-to-Day Help

The biggest reason most people hire a caregiver for home service is to take care of basic day-to-day tasks. For many seniors, these are the things that need to be done but that they simply cannot do on their own anymore.

For example, many seniors need help preparing healthy meals for themselves, doing laundry or even putting on a sweater when they are cool. These are basic day-to-day services that all in-home caregivers provide.

Most caregiving services also have a way to provide transportation for seniors since they are often unable to drive. This will help seniors get to doctor’s appointments and even do things like buy groceries.

Expect Medical Care

eldelry woman getting medical careMany seniors who require a caregiver need some medical help. For some that simply means being reminded and given medication on a set schedule, especially when cognitive disabilities are an issue for the senior.

However, other seniors may require a little bit more medical care. Depending on the caregiver you provide, you can typically expect basic nursing services that extend a little bit beyond day-to-day help.

Still, most caregivers don’t have full medical training and they aren’t doctors, so seriously ill individuals will obviously require further medical intervention, even in their own home.

Don’t Expect Another Family Member

Caregivers often provide companionship for seniors and become a major part of their life in a variety of ways. However, when you hire a caregiver, you can’t expect to basically add another member to your family.

While the caregivers that provide help to seniors will absolutely care for the individual they’re working for, most have families of their own and may not be able to go beyond the call of duty. While they will assist, and may often feel like a family member with a lot of responsibility, it’s important to remember that they aren’t there to help make family decisions, even about the long-term care of the individual.

That should be up to you, the person being cared for and their physician.elderly couple with nurse

Hiring an in-home caregiver can be hugely beneficial for many seniors – especially those healthy enough to still do most of the stuff they’ve always enjoyed. However, it is important to do your research and make sure you talk to any caregiving company you plan on working with about exactly what is expected and what can and cannot be provided.

With more information you’ll be able to find out if at home care is right for the important senior in your life.

Tara Heath is a journalist who lives in California. She has a passion for health and wellness, especially for the elderly. She holds a special place in her heart for the elderly because her grandma needed a caregiver and assisted living when she was diagnosed with Alzheimers.

  
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