Every third Friday in February is National Caregivers Day. It is an occasion to honor the men and women who dedicate their working lives to provide valuable long-term and hospice care to millions of elder Americans. These professionals typically step-in when family members can no longer provide the full range of support needed to assist an aging loved one.
Hiring a trusted caregiver has many benefits. On average, family caregivers spend 24 hours a week providing care to an elder loved one, and nearly 45 hours a week when the family caregiver is the spouse of the care recipient. This can be an enormous burden, on top of other personal and professional priorities. A paid caregiver can provide needed relief.
Specialized caregivers can provide services beyond the expertise of well-meaning family members, while alleviating stress by virtue of taking over various activities. A trusted caregiver can further deliver peace of mind when serving older adults who live far away from their adult children, and by providing needed assistance when a full-time working family member is away from an elder loved one for long periods during the day or night.
There are generally four main categories of paid caregiving:
- Personal care: bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, grooming
- Household care: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping
- Health care: medication management, physician’s appointments, physical therapy
- Emotional care: companionship, meaningful activities, conversation
Each area requires its own general certification, such as an HHA, or home health aide; a CNA, or certified nursing assistant; and an LVN, or licensed vocational nurse.
One way to find the right fit for an older adult’s unique situation is to contact a reputable home care agency. A simple internet search could lead to a number of quality options but this does not mean that you do not need to follow up with your own independent research. Also, consider asking your family, friends, and associates how they settled on a trusted caregiver if they have been in a similar situation. They might have the perfect recommendation.
The compassion and experience of countless senior caregivers deserves to be celebrated, as do each of our elder loved ones in need. If you have any questions about this blog, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.