Elderly caregiving is crucial in providing compassionate and dedicated support to the aging population. As the elderly age, individuals may require assistance with daily activities, medical care, emotional support, and social engagement.
Elderly caregivers, whether family members or professionals, ensure seniors’ well-being and quality of life. This includes promoting independence, managing health conditions, fostering meaningful connections, and creating a safe and nurturing environment.
By understanding the unique needs of the elderly, caregivers can make a profound difference in enhancing their overall happiness and dignity.
To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on elderly caregiving.
Courtney Nalty founded Generational Support, LLC, a caregiver consultancy and resource guide, in 2020.
In October 2005, her journey began with a position in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Over the 11 years of her service, she wore many hats. In 2017, she left the CCRC to work for a consulting firm specializing in designing, developing, marketing, and concept ideation for the Active Adult real estate market.
A self-published author, she sells her two digital books (The Caregiver Toolbox and The Hospital Discharge Handbook) on her website, www.generationalsupport.com.
When not busy with work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Will, and their three children, in and around her hometown of New Orleans, LA.
Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks of the home care industry:
When hiring a caregiver, I highly recommend going with a reputable agency. Be sure to ask about insurance, background checks, and training. It is also important to understand their hiring process and what the requirements are to be employed by their company.
Many companies require minimum hours to hire them, and they may not work holidays, weekends, or after hours, so be sure to ask!
If you are considering a private sitter, ask for references and interview them like a company. The downfall of hiring a private caregiver is that you must cover insurance, taxes, and no-shows.
By understanding the wishes of the elderly and their families, a caregiver is given direction on maintaining independence and dignity.
Those wishes included: daily routines, food preferences, social preferences, hobbies, etc.
Considering them as fellow adults first and not an invalid or children can make all the difference.
It is ok to ask for help! Friends, neighbors, and extended family are more willing to help than most people think. The possibilities are endless, whether bringing out the trash weekly, sorting mail, grocery shopping, or a daily one-hour visit.
There are many ways to take a break- the industry calls it Respite Care. There are many forms of Respite Care, such as Adult Day Programs, Companions, and short-term stays at Assisted Living (so you can go on vacation and not worry).
Another great option is hiring a Caregiver Consultant or Care Manager; they assist with maintaining order and keeping all the facets organized (making sure that doctor’s appointments are made and attended, legal documents are in place, financials are in order, their house is safe and clean, etc.). They can also think outside the box and find ways to make life easier for all involved.
I let them know that I understand what they are going through and to let me help them through this challenging time.
Caregivers cannot do it all, which is hard for most humans to accept, but once I provide them with a few tasks completed on their behalf, a weight is noticeably lifted off of their shoulders (this could be a checklist or resources).
First, you are not alone; everyone has a parent, grandparent, or an older adult they are caring for; find a support group! Second, write everything you do for them and see where you can delegate tasks to family, friends, neighbors, or caregivers.
Hire a Caregiver Consultant or Care Manager; they can create an action plan and get you organized, find you the right people and professionals to be a part of the care team.
Elderly caregiving is a vital aspect of society that acknowledges and addresses the evolving needs of our aging population. The compassionate and dedicated efforts of caregivers, whether formal or informal, are instrumental in promoting seniors’ well-being, independence, and dignity.
By providing physical assistance, emotional support, and social engagement, caregivers play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for the elderly. Through their selfless commitment and understanding, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society for our aging loved ones.
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