Home Care Expert Insights

In Conversation with Peter Rosenberger to Bring His Insights on Assisting the Elderly

As our population ages, providing effective support for the elderly becomes increasingly important. Assisting the elderly involves addressing their physical health, including medical care, nutrition, and emotional and social well-being.

With a higher prevalence of chronic conditions and social isolation, ensuring access to healthcare, promoting social engagement, and fostering intergenerational connections are crucial. Additionally, supporting cognitive abilities through stimulation and technological advancements can enhance their overall well-being.

By valuing and respecting the elderly, we can create a society that celebrates aging and enables senior citizens to live fulfilling lives.

To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring his perspective on family caregiving to light.

Expert QA session with Peter Rosenberger

Who Did We Interview?

Peter Rosenberger hosts the nationally syndicated radio program, Hope for the Caregiver. Drawing upon insights learned from nearly forty years of caring for his wife with severe disabilities, Peter points to fellow caregivers for healthier strategies for the long-term challenges of caregiving. His newest book is “A Minute for Caregivers – When Every Day Feels Like Monday.” www.hopeforthecaregiver.com

Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks about family caregiving.

Question 1: What, according to you, should families do when hiring a caregiver for their elderly?

Make a list of everything required for the loved one.
Have a group meeting (if able) about duties delegated to paid caregiving staff.
Perform background checks on all potential workers (or work with a company that provides that assurance).
Obtain references.
Consider electronic monitoring in the main areas of the home.
“Trust – but verify.” Conduct regular evaluation meetings with the employee or the service.

Question 2: How can caregivers maintain the independence and dignity of the elderly and their families when providing care?

Establish clear goals. While caregiving “tasks” can be delegated to paid staff, the relationship of spouses, children, and family cannot. Those relationships deserve protection and maintenance – caregiving tasks can often hamper that. Offloading the “tasks” to a paid professional can help foster a healthier relationship, allowing the patient to maintain dignity and agency (if possible).

Question 3: How can caregivers prevent burnout and manage their work-personal life?

While boundaries remain essential, caregiving’s “crisis” moments demand flexibility. So, think of those boundaries as fences with gates. But, as any rancher will tell you, “…never leave the gate open.”

One of the most important (and challenging) boundaries is determining “What is mine – and what is not mine.” Caregivers often attempt the impossible – which quickly leads to burnout. We can be at peace with the challenging (and often heartbreaking) circumstances our loved one endures. Grief is far different than despair or rage.

When we mourn, we accept a boundary prohibiting us from carrying something beyond our abilities. When we rage or despair – we resist accepting what we cannot control. Counselors, Clergy, and support groups can help us accept those limits.

Question 4: How can I help my aging parents from afar?

Hiring paid caregiving staff remains the first step, so refer to question one. If a family member in closer proximity chooses to be the “point person,” then regularly meet with that member and identify ways to support them.

Question 5: What advice do you give to new family caregivers?

Breathe. We remain powerless to fix or change most of what happens to our loved ones due to aging, injury, or disease. Yet, our role is not to change it but to mitigate (as best as possible) the consequences of decline and impairment. Various checklists can be found with a simple online search – virtually all involve Finances, Health, Safety, Security, and Planning.

None of those things will be done well by a frenetic caregiver, and family caregivers can struggle with despair, rage, and even burnout – even with paid caregiving staff. So, the goal is to live a calmer and healthier life – while facing difficult and even brutal challenges. Living a healthier lifestyle can be done, but not alone.

Seek counseling, and support groups, read (particularly my new book), and regularly seek the insights of trusted friends and professionals (doctors, financial advisors, etc.)

The Final Words

Caregiving plays a pivotal role in assisting the elderly and promoting their well-being. Caregivers provide essential support by addressing senior citizens’ physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Through compassionate and personalized care, they ensure access to healthcare, facilitate social engagement and stimulate cognitive abilities.

Caregiving encompasses various tasks, from assistance with daily activities to companionship and emotional support. By recognizing the value and importance of caregiving, society can foster a culture of respect and appreciation for the elderly.

Our expert, Peter, believes that together, through collaborative efforts and effective caregiving, we can create a society that honors and uplifts the lives of our senior citizens, enabling them to age with dignity and fulfillment.

Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

Contact Us

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