Family Caregiving as an Only Child

Transitional Home Care for SeniorsGrowing up, being an only child can definitely have its advantages. No hand-me-downs, the best birthday gifts, and all your parent’s attention. However, as your parents age they may require more of your attention in the form of home caregiving services.

 

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 29% of Americans provide care for a chronically ill or disabled family member. This number is expected to rise as baby boomers continue to enter retirement and require in-home supportive services. Family caregiving is becoming increasingly popular as a more affordable option compared with traditional PCA services. Children caring for aging parents is one of the most common family caregiving situations today but for only-children, this task can be especially stressful.

 

Without anybody to share the burden of home caregiving, only-children caregivers must commit a great amount of time to care for their parents. This can not only affect their other commitments like work and family, but also their health.

 

Below are some tips for only-children providing home care for an aging parent:

 

Don’t Go It Alone: It can be easy to want to do everything; but for many family caregivers, this can become overwhelming very quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask other people in the community for help. Reach out to spouses, neighbors, and friends to cover smaller tasks throughout the day or just to check in on your parent.

Take Advantage of Delivery Services: Meal delivery and housekeeping services are great options to help lessen the work load of a family caregiver. Prescriptions, groceries, and other household supplies can also be delivered to cut down on errands.

Find Support: There are many caregiving resources for family caregivers both online and in the communities. These resources help caregivers learn more about home caregiving and connect with other family caregivers in similar situation. Visit the Best Home Care caregiver support page to learn more!

 

For more family caregiver support and resources, contact Best Home Care. Our home care professionals can show you how to get paid for taking care of a family member and continue providing the best home care for your loved one.

Feeling Valued as a Family Caregiver

companion-home-careAs our recent blog series on The Sandwich Generation pointed out, family caregiving is becoming increasingly common. Middle-aged adults are finding themselves providing home care for their baby boomer parents while also raising children of their own. Add to this a full-time work schedule and endless other commitments and it’s easy for a family caregiver to find themselves overworked and overwhelmed. Home caregivers in these situations will often fall victim to caregiver stress – a physical and emotional pressure that comes from undertaking too many home health care tasks.

While caregiver stress affects thousands of family caregivers each year, there is another (potentially more harmful) grievance that affects caregivers in the Sandwich Generation. Here at Best Home Care, one of the most frequent complaints we hear from family caregivers is not feeling valued.

When caring for a family member, feeling undervalued and not recognizing your worth is a tough reality. You may feel that your loved one doesn’t realize or appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made to care for them. You may become angry with other siblings for not pulling their weight in caring for a parent. This unrest will often spill over and affect other areas of the family caregiver’s professional and personal life and amplify the effects of caregiver stress.

 

How Can Family Caregivers Combat Feeling Undervalued?

Journaling: Give yourself credit by taking notes on all the caregiving tasks you accomplish each day. Documenting these home care services might help you to appreciate how much you do and all you give.

Support Groups: Joining a group of likeminded caregivers is a great way to voice your concerns and stresses to people that can relate. These caregiver support groups can be found right in your community or online.

Friends and Family: Voice your stress to those closest to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed, asking for assistance should be your first step.

 

Best Home Care is committed to providing family caregivers with the resources and caregiver support needed to navigate home care services. Contact us today to learn more about our home care resources and how to get paid to take care of a family member!

The Dos and Don’ts of Being a PCA: Don’t Try to Do Too Much

Five Things Every New Family Caregiver Needs to Know  - personal care providersAs any medical professional will tell you, proving health care is a lot of work. As a personal care assistant you have likely experienced this first-hand. From early morning medication assistance to late night emergency calls, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything there is to do. This feeling of being overworked will only get worse the more home care patients you are responsible for.

It should come as no surprise that caregiver burnout is one of the most common ailments faced by home care specialists today. According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.” The accompanying feelings of fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression are most often caused by a home care provider trying to do more than they are capable of.

So How Can I Avoid Caregiver Burnout?

  • Be Realistic – Set realistic expectations for your daily home care services and be okay waiting till tomorrow to finish a non-essential tasks.
  • Have a Schedule – Establish a realistic home health care plan every week that includes when you will arrive and when you will leave. Then stick to it!
  • Ask For Help – Be willing to seek out assistance for in home supportive services if you start feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take Time for Yourself – Schedule time each week to do something you enjoy and make it a priority.

While it’s wise to prioritize your patient’s home health, you must remember that if you aren’t healthy your home care services will suffer as a result. Make a plan to avoid caregiver burnout so you can keep providing the best home care possible to your patients.

Contact Best Home Care or visit our Support for Caregivers page for more tips on how to avoid caregiver burnout and stay healthy while providing home care.

 

Caring for the Caregiver: Difficult Emotions and Finding Support

Caregiver HealthFor an individual suffering from a disability, illness, or other condition that makes living independently a challenge, having a loved one provide home care is an incredible blessing. While it is a vital and valuable role, being a home caregiver is still much like other jobs in that there are ups and downs. Taking care of a family member or dear friend can be very fulfilling, both personally and professionally. Some times, however, providing at-home care can elicit many difficult emotions and create stress that affects a caregiver’s health.

At Best Home Care, we know that the wellbeing of a caregiver is a crucial part of home care. In order to prevent these emotions from developing into a serious health issue, a caregiver must first recognize and accept these feelings.

Common emotions for caregivers:

  • Guilt: You may feel guilty that you aren’t doing enough as a home caregiver to provide for your patient.
  • Grief: Providing care often comes with a number of losses, including time otherwise spent, a plan you had envisioned, or the loss that comes with caring for a terminally ill patient.
  • Burnout: The exhaustion that comes from being pulled in many different directions is common among caregivers who also work and provide for their family.
  • Resentment: You may be angry with other family members or friends for not doing more to support you or your patient.

These emotions often present themselves in the form of lack of sleep or appetite or an unwillingness to interact with others. Seek medical help immediately if you feel these emotions are negatively affecting your health or ability to provide quality home care.

It’s important for a home caregiver to understand that having these feelings is normal and help is available. Start combating tough emotions by sharing your feelings, both positive and negative, with others.

A caregiver may find emotional support from:

  • Family members or friends
  • Church or religious groups
  • A therapist or counselor
  • Community caregiver support groups

Know that you are not alone and that there are many resources to encourage and support you. At Best Home Care, we understand the stress home caregivers deal with every day and we work to help in any we can. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about finding caregiver support.