Why Your Elderly Parent Needs More Sustained Care Than Family or Friends Can Give
Your dad stumbles trying to get up from his seat at the kitchen table and seems confused when it happens. You’re worried, of course, but talk yourself down. It only happened once. Months later, you learn that similar events had taken place when your brother was with him… and his neighbor… and his old golf buddy who stops by to check in on him. Suddenly, you’re alarmed—at the frequency, and all the more because of the unintentionally delayed response.
Having family and friends collectively provide care for an aging parent can often seem like an excellent course of action. Your parent knows and trusts them, there’s less financial consideration and the burden of care doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders— an enormous responsibility that can put that person in danger.
But enlisting professional home care can save you and your parent from dangerous caregiver burnout. And burnout not only affects the family caregiver, but your loved one can suffer too as a result of the diminished quality of care. So the following are the benefits you can expect by hiring a professional caregiver instead for your elderly love:
1. Quality of Care
Superior home care involves much more than task management. That quality of care requires special training like fall prevention of dementia care certification. Specialized training in areas like these truly separate professional caregivers from family caregivers.
But even the seemingly simple tasks are not so easy when you factor in advanced age. Dressing, bathing or grooming can lead to injury or discomfort if not done properly. Sorting out medicine—and noticing any side effects—is far from straightforward, especially if split between multiple people. And daily tasks like dishes and laundry can quickly pile up.
These are the kind of things a professional caregiver spends years doing for people like your loved one.
2. A Trained, Watchful Eye
One significant aspect of that quality is the ability to read between the lines, see patterns in behaviors and recognize red flags. A professional caregiver has context and experience, which allows them to know what might be coming next, the best ways of communicating and empathizing and how to efficiently help in a wide variety of situations.
This can help avoid dire situations and sudden scares and offer comfort in the recovery period from any that may be unavoidable. Similarly, your parent knows a professional caregiver is trained, and once a relationship is established between them, he or she may be more to heed their instruction than if it came from a friend or family member.
3. Consistency and Reliability
Consistent visits from a professional caregiver mean more attention to your loved one's condition. A professional caregiver can quickly spot a developing problem and allow you to treat the issue immediately, meaning much better and agiler care. When different caregivers are in and out, no matter how much they communicate and how much they care, it’s challenging to replicate a trained professional who is there on a regular basis. And because they’re paid professionals, there’s a higher level of reliability and accountability that you can expect.
So when your brother is out of town and your dad’s neighbor is busy visiting family, there will be no lapse in care, no additional burden on others to step in and no inconsistency. And that consistency benefits your parent. He or she knows the schedule, who to expect and what will happen when that professional caregiver is there—and that there’s a person they can trust and go to with questions they may be too embarrassed to directly ask a family member or friend.
4. New Companionship
Having someone who can listen to stories for the first time and bring a fresh, energizing, caring personality into your parent’s home offers something refreshing and new. Professional caregivers are of course professionals, but they’re also a companion —that’s part of the job. They’ll be there to empathize and encourage, to make sure Dad gets his daily walk in and takes his medicine and to keep loneliness at bay during those long hours between other visits.
But one of the greatest benefits of all? A professional caregiver can handle all the busy work your family and you have been doing during visits, allowing you to spend time with your parent. That may be what Dad wants the most.