What Your Loved One Might Need From You as Their CaregiverFebruary 14, 2023
The transition into the role of family caregiver is full of new obstacles to navigate—one of which is the expectations that come with it. When first starting, it can be difficult to determine what your loved one might need from you as their caregiver. While it naturally varies from person to person, there are a few consistent services to expect.
This is possibly the most well-known aspect of acting as a caregiver for your loved one. Personal care covers the wide breadth of responsibilities one must manage to live healthfully in their home. This can include bathing, dressing, toileting, and more general grooming.
These responsibilities can be some of the biggest to overcome for both the caregiver and care recipient. It is important that you provide the necessary assistance with dignity and compassion so your loved one maintains their confidence.
Certain activities of maintaining a home—such as washing the dishes, doing laundry, and vacuuming—might grow to be difficult for seniors. Muscle and joint pain, or other mobility issues, can lead many seniors to ignore their housekeeping responsibilities. This can be a health hazard. Taking over these light housekeeping tasks will help keep your loved one safe and healthy.
Many seniors take a wide array of medications and supplements to ensure they stay in top health. As the number of pills increases, however, it can be difficult to discern what needs to be taken and when. As your loved one’s caregiver, you may be responsible for setting up an easy-to-use reminder system. This way, they can always be certain they took the right amount of medication at the right time.
Just as housekeeping can grow difficult, so can meal preparation. On top of cooking the meal, things like planning for it, grocery shopping, and cleaning up afterward can be positively exhausting to many older adults. This can lead seniors to unhealthier meals, like microwave dishes or fast food.
Healthy eating is crucial to full-body wellness. By assisting your loved one with the meal prep process, you’ll be giving them the tools they need to live healthfully. Ask your loved one if there are any points in the cooking process that they would like to do on their own so they can maintain their autonomy.
While running errands might be a simple, albeit irritating, task for you, it isn’t quite as easy for many seniors. Eye conditions, like cataracts or glaucoma, may keep your loved one off the road. Alternatively, if your loved one has mobility issues or uses a wheelchair, they may have difficulties navigating the aisles of a store.
Running errands takes the at-times stressful task off the shoulders of your loved one. While you pick up their medication, groceries, or deliver something to the post office, your loved one can focus on their other personal needs.
While the importance of tasks like personal care and medication reminders is clear, caring for an aging loved one involves helping with both their mental and physical health. Living at home alone can be isolating. One of the best ways to provide mental health care to your loved one is by acting as a companion for them.
Between your other home care tasks, make a point to be there for emotional support, or even just a silly conversation. Listening to their concerns and providing stimulating conversation will do much more for their morale than you might think.
Be paid for the support you already provide
Through conversation with your loved one, your family members, and their health care provider, you can best determine what your loved one needs help with. If you want to be certain you’re offering the best care possible, consider becoming a family caregiver with us.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, we proudly train family caregivers so they are not only up to date with the latest practices in the field, but receive compensation for said work. If you’re curious about our program, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.
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