Families who opt to hire an in-home caregiver to provide compassionate assistance to a loved one may at first feel reluctant to do so. The resistance stems from an increasingly common phenomenon known as caregiver’s guilt. Primary caregivers, who are often family members, may unnecessarily feel the need to perform all caregiving tasks themselves.
An elderly loved one in a vulnerable state deserves constant attention and care. You can soften feelings of guilt by being open to the immeasurable benefits of health and well-being that an in-home caregiver can bring to the senior in your life.
Address Feelings of Guilt
The first step in lessening feelings of guilt is to identify and accept these overwhelming emotions. Caregiver’s guilt is natural and can be complex, especially when trying to help a loved one who is no longer able to remain independent or function as she once did.
Remind yourself that you are not responsible for your loved one’s illness or condition. Aging is a normal part of life. However difficult it is to see a parent spiral into helplessness, be proud that you are giving your loved one the most comprehensive care possible by recruiting additional support.
Set Realistic Expectations
A loved one may suffer from a progressive condition, like dementia, which gradually worsens over time. Eventually, the senior will lose her ability to perform the routine activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing and toileting. A senior suffering from a chronic illness should never be left alone. As a result, constant supervision becomes necessary.
Family members are unlikely to offer daily, 24 hour care over the course of months without experiencing negative repercussions, like burnout, exhaustion and depression. Stress especially increases during around-the-clock caregiving and when the family member has her own children and career to manage.
Enlisting the invaluable services of an in-home caregiver is instrumental in overcoming the challenges associated with holding a job, caring for an immediate family and assuming the demanding role of caregiver for an elderly parent.
Involve the Care Recipient
The senior in your life may refuse to accept outside help, asking you to be the sole caregiver. You may feel torn between the obligation to support her choice and the realization that outside help is needed. Change can be uncomfortable, at first. However, involving the senior in your decision to hire outside help will help the senior experience a level of control over her care.
Include your elderly loved one in the caregiver selection process. Listen to the senior’s wishes and feedback to help bring on board a caregiver who can establish rapport and a likeminded relationship with your loved one. Over time, the senior is more likely to begin to trust and enjoy the caregiver and care recipient relationship.
Ensure Comfort and Safety
Adjustment to the new caregiving process will take time. Pay attention to nonverbal signs and listen to any verbal gripes the senior may express. Check in often to stay up to date on your loved one’s condition. As a family member, your feelings of guilt will diminish, knowing your loved one is in good hands.
Your loved one is far more protected with a constant caregiver who ensures the senior’s safety at all times, especially when mobility issues are involved. Rather than suffering alone, the elderly individual has a dedicated caregiver who provides compassion, companionship and attention.
Consider Practical Advantages
An aging senior is likely to require constant medical care. If you’re not trained in providing basic medical care, hiring a caregiver with the right qualifications is critical to the well-being of the senior. A trained caregiver can offer specialized attention, especially if the caregiver is skilled in providing support to individuals with certain conditions, like dementia or stroke.
Express Mutual Benefits
Hiring a caregiver helps both you, as the family caregiver, and the care recipient immensely. Let your loved one know that bringing on board extra help at home is necessary to preserve the health and well-being of both the senior and yourself. Remain firm in your choice to hire in-home help, despite objections from your loved one. The clear benefits to you and your loved one will gradually take shape.
Address the importance of self-care. Reduce the risk of fatigue by taking time off from providing continual care to a loved one. Respite services are increasingly available. An in-home caregiver can be hired for a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. When you are rested, you can provide the senior in your life improved focus and attention.
Local support groups can be beneficial and help you realize that your situation is shared by others. Online forums are also available to offer tips on caring for a loved one and allow the exchange of experiences.
Especially if your loved one lives alone, hiring an in-home caregiver is invaluable. In fact, continual support is a necessity to preserve the well-being of an aging parent. In the event you bring the senior into your home to live, you and your loved one benefit immensely from the added support provided by an in-home caregiver.
When you’ve determined that in-home caregiving is essential, contact Assisting Hands Home Care, the most trusted local elder care service provider in south suburban Chicagoland. Caregivers are available to provide care for a variety of shifts, including mornings, afternoons, evenings, overnight or all day or night. The Assisting Hands Home Care team is equipped with dedicated, flexible staff who can also accommodate inconsistent schedules.
Prior to sending an in-home caregiver to your home, the Assisting Hands Home Care management team discusses the needs of the family and care recipient to customize the most suitable care plan. Adjustments are made to the care plan over time, so that caregiving requirements stay up to date.
Ease any lingering feeling of guilt by contacting a dependable, non-medical home health care agency that emphasizes excellence in senior care. Assisting Hands Home Care reliably serves the elder populations with an aim to improve the quality of life of every senior client.