Pros and Cons of Hiring A Private In-Home Caregiver
Caring for an old parent can be a full-time job. It may start out as simply calling to check-in, picking up groceries, and reminding your parents to take medications. However, as days and months pass, you may find yourself spending more and more time, energy, and resources caring for your parent.
Hiring an in-home caregiver does not mean that you are failing your parent, and it doesn’t mean that your parent is weak or has given up. Hiring a private in-home caregiver is a smart decision when you’ve realized your own – and your parent’s – limitations. If you are considering hiring a private in-home caregiver for your elderly parent, you should research the pros and cons of this decision.
What Do In-Home Caregivers Do?
Professional caregivers are responsible for a variety of duties, but the specific responsibilities will largely depend on how much support the patient needs and family requests. In-home caregivers, who are sometimes referred to as home health aides, provide help to the elderly and frail within their own home.
Tasks expected of private in-home elderly caregivers include:
- Using the restroom
- Taking medication
- Doing light housework
- Making doctor appointments
- Arranging transportation
- Running errands
- Offering companionship
In-home caregivers are available for the elderly as well as for individuals who are sick, recovering from an injury, or mentally or physically disabled.
Challenges You’ll Face As an In-Home Caregiver
When you are suddenly faced with the responsibility of caring for an elderly parent, you may find yourself facing certain challenges, which may leave you feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared.
As a new caregiver, you may have difficulties managing your time. You may feel as if you have no time for yourself to do the things that you used to enjoy. Or if you do find the time, you may be so tired that you just don’t have the energy for anything other than plopping on the couch or going straight to bed.
You’ll find yourself dedicating more and more time to your elderly parent and spending less time with your children, your spouse, or your friends. You may neglect other responsibilities, give up hobbies, and cancel vacations. Being a caregiver for your aging parent can throw off your schedule, making it difficult to manage your time between work and home life,
In some cases, caregivers decide to move their elderly or infirm parent into their home to better care for them. This often results in a lack of privacy, particularly in small settings. You may find it difficult to set boundaries in terms of your personal space or times that you should not be interrupted, particularly if your parent is experiencing early stages of dementia.
If your loved one wakes up at night or requires attention during normal sleeping hours, you may miss out on much-needed rest. Sleep deprivation can affect you in numerous ways, adding to your already stressful life.
In fact, you may find that you are experiencing high levels of emotional and physical stress. Physical demands, such as lifting or assisting with mobility, can cause strain on your muscles and back, whereas the emotional stress associated with caring for a loved one whose mental state is deteriorating can drain your health. You may even begin to feel isolated and could suffer from depression.
It’s important that you strike a balance between caring for your elderly parent and maintaining your own health and autonomy. Sometimes, your best option is hiring a private in-home caregiver. But how will you know if this is the right decision for you and your family?
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Private In-Home Caregiver
If you are working full-time and caring for a loved one 24 hours a day/7 days a week, you may find yourself running on empty. In situations where your parents can’t be left alone and you have to be constantly available to them, you may end up only attending to their needs without acknowledging your own. Maybe it’s time to consider hiring a private in-home caregiver.
Begin by considering the needs of your loved one. Think about the following areas:
- Personal care: Does your parent require help bathing, grooming, dressing, using the toilet, and bathing?
- Household care: Must you assist with cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping?
- Health care: Does your loved one need help managing their medication, remembering and attending doctor appointments, and doing physical therapy?
- Emotional Care: Would it be nice to have someone to help provide companionship, conversation, and interesting activities for your parent?
Will hiring someone to act as an in-home elderly caregiver allow you to attend to your own needs?
The assistance of a trusted private caregiver enables you to go to your own doctor, run errands, spend time with family and friends, get a full night’s sleep, and tend to all of the little things that you’ve been putting off because you just haven’t had the time.
Utilizing outside help from a home health care aide can also benefit your parent, who now has someone new to whom they can tell that favorite story which you’ve already heard over and over. And oftentimes, an individual receiving care will cooperate more with someone other than their primary caregiver. You may actually revert to your role of son or daughter, rather than being seen as an authoritarian or disciplinarian.
You may find that you can’t always be positive after a full day of work and then needing to constantly supervise your aging parent. You may not respond to their questions or engage in conversation as you want to do, because you are simply too tired physically and emotionally. However, talking with your love is an in-home caregiver’s job. They come to work fresh and ready to speak in a comforting and captivating way.
Hiring a Private In-Home Caregiver
While it may be difficult for you to admit that you need help – and to ask for it, it’s often the best choice when things begin to feel overwhelming. Hiring a private in-home caregiver can be a blessing for both you and your loved one. Home health aides can not only provide the day-to-day help that your parent requires, but they also address the difficulties that you have been facing as the sole caregiver. Hiring a private in-home caregiver may be the answer that you’ve been seeking.
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