These days, most families believe that in-home care is the best option for providing quality care to seniors in the comforts of their homes. It’s because in-home care allows seniors to age with greater flexibility and freedom. Also, the elderly have developed an emotional and physical attachment to their homes over many years, and it’s where most of their memories reside.
A caregiver cares for the senior’s health and well-being and needs assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like meal preparation, grocery shopping, and laundry, among others. Not only do they assist seniors with routine tasks, but offer companionship to help them escape loneliness and depression.
The need for caregivers to provide quality care has become indispensable, helping the elderly age independently.
To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on helping seniors age comfortably.
Who Did We Interview?
Jennifer Lagemann is a former family caregiver with seven years of experience in healthcare marketing and communications experience. She has honed her skills in creating and implementing effective marketing strategies for driving results. Her work involves helping senior care companies establish connections with clients through storytelling.
Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks of the home care industry:
When families are looking for caregiving assistance, they should ensure they know what their needs are. Often, I have received inquiry calls from families who are at their loved one’s bedside, and they are unsure of what type of assistance or forms of assistance they will need upon discharge.
I would encourage all family caregivers and members searching for help to get clear on their needs, how they will fund services, and ask trusted professionals for recommendations.
Before you start providing care to a loved one, make sure you have a sit-down conversation with them and take an inventory of what they want, what they don’t want and what their limitations or boundaries are. For example, maybe they prefer to age in place; if they can no longer perform X activity of daily living, they would consider moving out of the home.
Understand what expectations your loved one has of you.
One of the common causes of caregiver burnout is role and identity conflict. For example, the “typical” role of a daughter does not include bathing a father, sociologically speaking. If your father does not want you to bathe him, you may look into having a home care professional assist with showers, and you can help him in other ways.
My best advice to prevent burnout and maintain some semblance of a work-life balance is to look at Eisenhower’s quadrant. It has four simple functions: do now, schedule, delegate, and delete.
We are fortunate to live in a time when technology is advanced, and there are a lot of caregiving responsibilities that can be outsourced or automated. For example, with meal preparation, if you are hard-pressed for time, resources like Instacart, Uber Eats, and Mom’s Meals are helpful alternatives. For medication assistance, medication machines and pill packs can be huge time-savers for any busy caregiver. For employed caregivers, I would highly recommend having a conversation with your manager.
They may have some options or bandwidth to work with your caregiving responsibilities, whether remote or hybrid work arrangements or flexible hours. More and more companies are offering caregiving and senior care benefits through companies.
I highly recommend calling around service providers in your area before the need arises. Make a list of the top-rated or recommended home care providers and senior care services where your parents live. A lot of age tech and technology companies are trying to make aging at home easier. Smart home devices, medical alerts, and wearables are only a few examples.
Before doing any of that though, understand what your parents need and will accept from you, and work within those boundaries. You may also want to bring up ways of financing care and how they plan on paying for things that they need.
If you have siblings, try to coordinate efforts among them if they are able and available.
Firstly, understand that you are only one person. You cannot do everything, and that is not the expectation. You are also not alone. There are over 53 million family caregivers, and it is not always going to be easy. This may be one of the most challenging periods in your life, and try to find pockets and moments of joy when you can.
Set realistic and manageable expectations for yourself. Build in time for yourself on your calendar too. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Let me put it this way: If your cup is half-full, you can only give your loved one what’s remaining. When you are whole and happy, you are in
a much better headspace to provide care.
Lastly, there is no shame in asking for help. If you have a neighbor you trust, see if they can provide respite care when you need time for yourself or need to run an errand.
In-home elderly care is a boon for seniors and their family members. With the help of caregivers, your elderly parents lead a safe, dignified, happy, and comfortable life. Apart from opting for reliable in-home elderly care services.
Our expert, Jennifer, believes that there are many benefits to working with the elderly. All you’ve to do is look for high-quality elderly care services that will give your loved ones the personalized attention they need. You’ll get peace of mind knowing they’re surrounded by a familiar environment in a manner that they feel protected and safe.
We hope you found this expert Q&A as insightful as we did and had something to take away from it.
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