Becoming a family caregiver can happen suddenly. A loved one may become ill or incapacitated without warning, thrusting a family member into the roles of cook, driver, housekeeper, and medication manager. It’s safe to say that most family caregivers aren’t prepared for the enormity of the task. For this reason, it’s essential to be aware of six things family caregivers need most.
1. Knowledge of Helpful Resources
Having an idea of what to expect helps caregivers avoid some of the task’s pitfalls. Some caregivers wear themselves out because they’re unaware of services that can ease the burden of caring for a senior loved one. Telehealth visits and pharmacies that deliver medication are examples of services caregivers may not think of using.
2. Family Support
It’s not unusual for one family member to assume the role of family caregiver. That individual may have a family and a job, all while being responsible for meeting the needs of an aging or disabled family member. Siblings and others can lighten the load by offering to help with caregiving tasks so the primary caregiver can have a break.
Family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities don’t have to manage everything on their own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
It’s helpful mentally and physically if a caregiver can get a reprieve from constant caregiving. Caregiving takes a mental and physical toll on the body. Caregivers can become isolated when they’re never away from their aging loved ones for more than a few minutes. Respite care gives a caregiver time to clear his or her head, get some rest, and return to the task with renewed energy and a fresh perspective.
Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Tucson families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
4. Employer Support
Caregivers who work outside the home often find that working and caring for a loved one can be stressful. Coworkers may not appreciate having to cover the duties of a caregiver who must be absent frequently because of caregiving emergencies. Having a flexible work schedule and other policies that allow employees to balance work and caregiving can help a caregiver be more productive.
Well-meaning friends and family members can make comments that cause a caregiver to feel inadequate. Criticizing decisions or offering unsolicited advice can undermine a caregiver’s confidence. Sometimes a caregiver simply needs the support of a listening ear, without the commentary.
6. Dependable Help
While it’s important for siblings or other family members to pitch in and help with caregiving tasks, scheduling can be challenging. Caregivers need people they can rely on to step in and handle tasks like taking their loved ones to doctor appointments. They also benefit from having dependable people who will allow them to enjoy a weekend getaway or something as simple as a walk around the block without being in a hurry to get back home. An in-home caregiver is the answer when a family caregiver needs someone he or she can depend on when he or she needs help or a break.
For family caregivers who are at risk of burnout, hiring a professional caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Tucson families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (520) 276-6555 today.