Many people think of home care as something that only happens after surgery or an illness, or when an older adult needs support with daily tasks but is not ready for a nursing home. But home care is versatile, and there are many other instances where the services and supports of a reputable home care agency can be valuable.
Here are 5 reasons to consider home care that you may not have thought of:
1. To take care of yourself
Caregivers are constantly being told to take care of themselves so they can provide the best care. But even the most well-intentioned caregivers need help with self-care, and “taking care of you” is often easier said than done when you’re in the midst of intense or all-consuming caregiving responsibilities.
That said, the person in your care doesn’t have to be experiencing a health crisis or illness to qualify for certain types of home care. If they need help with ADLs (activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, bathing, or preparing meals), they may be a good candidate for home care.
Perhaps you don’t mind assisting with ADLs, but what you find most difficult is making time to just sit and chat with your loved one, or to play cards with them or help them take up a hobby they once loved. A home care provider can do these things, so you can rest, meet up with friends for lunch, or to make an important doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off.
2. To fill in the gaps
So many families are carrying the weight of the caregiving load without support from siblings or other relatives who either live too far away or refuse to/are unable to help. One person (or family) can only carry so much. If there’s a time of day when you’re stretched thin — like trying to prepare dinner while helping your kids with their homework and keeping an eye on Mom — consider bringing in home care to fill in the gaps.
Or if you’re finding that the morning is a difficult time for your loved one and you’re also trying to work from home during that time, a home care provider may be able to alleviate that strain and lighten your caregiving load. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you always have to be on call for care.
3. To enhance the care you’re providing
You’re doing your best as a caregiver, yet you still feel exhausted and drained. That’s normal! Caregiving is hard, and many caregivers just push through. Sometimes, they push through because they don’t have help. But in some cases, they might think “This isn’t that bad,” or “Other people have it harder,” or “My dad cared for me when I was a child so I have to care for him.”
While all of these things can be true, that doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to the breaking point or into burnout. Even the very best caregivers can benefit from the support of a home care provider and team. Their work can complement and enhance yours. By working together, your loved one — and you, the caregiver — may experience benefits and wellness boosts you’d never imagined possible.
4. To promote independence and dignity
Sometimes your caree requires support in daily tasks that are highly personal (bathing or toileting, for example). The thought of a “stranger” helping with these tasks may create fear or discomfort for you or the caree, but in some cases, the reverse is true. Some daughters may prefer not to help their fathers with bathing. Sometimes a mom in need of care may not want her son or daughter-in-law to help her to the bathroom. A home care provider isn’t a “stranger” any more than a doctor or nurse in the ER; they’re a trained professional who is doing a job and providing a service. Consider the ways that removing yourself from the realm of a highly personal care task can promote independence and dignity.
5. To build your village
There may be times when you’ll need support because you’re sick and need rest. There may be times one of your children, grandchildren, or a spouse needs caregiving attention. There may be times when you want to take a family vacation or attend a milestone event like a wedding or graduation.
By partnering with a home care provider sooner rather than later, you can expand your caregiving team and build your caregiving village so that a trusted person(s) is already in place when you need them.
Want to see how Surrogate Family Care can support you as a caregiver? We’d love to talk. Contact us today.