Caregiving

“Caregivers, like my mom, face extraordinary demands both physically and emotionally. More often than not, they are the ones navigating the treatment and care path – trying to figure out which approaches will bear the best results for their loves ones.” – U.S. Senator, Cory Booker.  The exact nature of caregiving work and daily routine of a caregiver depends on the needs of each individual client.

What are Caregiver Responsibilities?

A caregiver supports their patient in physical, mental, emotional, medical and traditional aspects. The physical aspect of the work includes the household tasks which are difficult for the care recipient to perform such as cooking, cleaning, household maintenance, and the like.

The mental and emotional aspect of the caregiver’s job is also important in the sense that caregivers must be compassionate and empathetic. Caregivers also deal with the medical and nursing requirements of the clients, especially if they are old or sick.  Caregivers help their clients by providing companionship, helping them to get to necessary appointments, have a social life, and liaise with the many members of their support network as possible.

Caregiver Services include:

  • Accompanying clients to the medical, physiotherapist and other appointments.
  • Providing companionship and help in all aspects around the home to the client.
  • Providing personal assistance to feed, bathe, dress, groom, toilet or help with mobility or walking.
  • Managing personal affairs such as medicine, finance, legal, insurance, care co-ordination and transportation
  • Helping with behavior, moods, socializing, receiving visitors, or making decisions.
  • Reporting on the changes in the condition or the needs to the doctor or family member responsible for their beloved one.

According to the report of National alliance for caregiving and AARP (2015), family caregivers spend anywhere from 20 to 50 hours per week looking after their loved ones. Older caregivers who are 75+ years of age require an average of 34 hours of caregiving per week.

Caregiving for a Family Member

  • In the US, it is estimated that 43.5 million caregivers have been known to provide unpaid care to their beloved ones (either old or child) in the last 12 months.
  • 60% of caregivers in Canada are paid for their caregiving services. Out of them, 54% are the female caregivers. Amongst the caregivers 39% cared for their mother or father, 8% for their spouse/partner, 5% for their child, and remaining 48% provided caregiving to the friends and families.

Caregiving relies on feedback and communication between you, your care recipient, the support network of the care recipient, such as their family, and the medical practitioners or experts responsible for advising on health issues.  Aim to be the oil that lubricates this support network engine.

It is important that you find out the needs of all parties. At the very least you should keep the family members informed of your care recipients health status and any changes. Better communication between all parties, results in a better quality of life for the care recipient and reduced stress for their support network.

Caregiving vs Nursing Home

  • 60% of caregivers in the US are employed and are paid for their caregiving services. 30% of the family caregivers taking care of older individuals are themselves aged 65 or more. 15% are those between the ages of 45-54 who care the older individuals.
  • 53% of the caregivers in the UK are paid for their services. The majority, 63%, of the caregivers spend 1-19 hours per week providing caregiving services, 13% of the caregivers spend 20-49 hours per week and 23% of the caregivers spend 50+ hours per week in caregiving.

The advantages of having a caregiver vs being in a nursing home, is that the care recipient avoids the stress of moving where they live.  Moving at the best of times, is a top stress factor.  But think about doing it when you have less physical and mental faculties and then being faced with giving away important items of furniture or trinkets that you are attached to just so that you can downsize your entire life to a single small room.  Think about having to make a whole new group of friends and have a new regime and diet enforced upon you because you now live inside a nursing home.

Living in a nursing home with 24/7 care also means a change to financial outgoings.  There is no quick and fast answer as to which is a better financial solution.  That all depends upon your current outgoings, whether you pay for housing and your health condition.  To calculate the costs please go to https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/longtermcare/home-care-vs-assisted-living.html

Many elderly or disabled folks prefer having caregivers come to their home and assist them with the things that they can’t manage on their own, until they are so incapacitated that hospitalization or a nursing home is the only choice left.

When the Caregiver Needs Help

Caregivers are heroes to their care recipients.  Special awards have been created for exceptional service.  To learn more go to https://www.homehelpershomecare.com/exceptional-caregiver-awards

Many caregivers heroically put their lives on hold for the sake of their loved one.  But is this wise in the long run? Perhaps they can play hero for 12 – 18 months, but after a while this trapped thinking will take its toll.  Anxiety, resentment and feelings of being burnt out will surface.  The caregiver now turns into the one who needs care themselves and the cycle continues.

Sometimes, caregivers can get tired.  They are just human after all. They still need to sleep the same amount of hours as the rest of us do in order to function at their best. All too often, however, they are overwhelmed by many responsibilities, including nighttime calls which disrupt their sleeping pattern and not enough personal time to recharge their batteries.

Are you one of those caregivers who feels stressed, overwhelmed, trapped, burnt-out or depressed?

If so, you need to take action now before your state of anxiety turns into something more chronic.

Caregivers get Support from the Community

As a caregiver under daily emotional and physical strain, is important to never be isolated.

  1. Find out about caregiving support in your local community or online such as at http://lotsahelpinghands.com/
  2. Join a caregiving support group of your choice.
  3. Seek social support from non-judgmental family

Holistic Health for Caregivers

Dimensions of Wellness


Caregiving

Emotional Wellness | Environmental Wellness

Financial Wellness | Intellectual Wellness

Occupational Wellness | Physical Wellness

Social Wellness | Spiritual Wellness

Go to our home page at http://caregiverfatigue.com/ and learn more about us.

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