It's easy for anyone to take on too much during the holidays, but especially those who are caring for an aging loved one. During the hectic holidays, taking care of your spouse, parent or loved one can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed and anxious. If life is becoming overwhelming and we are not able to keep up with life's demands the way we used to, we may become frustrated and feel constantly overburdened. When this happens, we need to consider how to lighten the load and get some help. Even if it's some extra assistance for the little things such as running errands or tidying up, or help with more demanding chores such as spring cleaning or raking the yard, hiring a caregiver may be the solution.
What is a caregiver and what are the benefits of having one? Caregivers are professionals who assist seniors in their everyday lives.
Caregivers Provide Non-Medical Support
Working with a caregiver adds another dimension to a senior's life. Seniors can often feel that their lives have been reduced to a series of medical appointments. Medical issues are important, but a singular focus on problems associated with the body can make life feel impersonal and limited. A caregiver looks at the fine details of the whole person rather than the big-picture issues of the body. For many seniors, this kind of personal long-term care and attention paid to comfort and happiness provides welcome relief. This kind of help may seem small, especially for those who don't currently need help taking care of basic tasks like going to the bathroom, bathing, cooking, running errands and cleaning the house, but for a senior who's feeling overwhelmed by these everyday responsibilities, the help a caregiver provides is life changing.
Caregivers Provide a Link to the Life You've Always Known
Caregivers can be seen as a stepping stone for seniors who are still independent enough to live at home and don't require constant medical care but do need help with the logistics of maintaining a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. A caregiver can be the key to allowing you to stay in familiar surroundings and with the life you've always known. Many seniors note that aging is difficult because of how fast it seems to happen. One day you're living a routine life in the home you've known for years and the next you're unable to keep up with the daily life tasks you used to handle with no issue.
Opting for homemaker care rather than assisted living makes for a less dramatic and more comfortable lifestyle change, one that allows seniors to retain a sense of independence and stay put for a little while longer.
Still, being emotionally comfortable and physically comfortable isn't necessarily the same thing. Any tasks or obligations that are frustrating or physically challenging, such as vacuuming, mopping, changing bed sheets, dusting high shelves, changing heavy winter blankets for lightweight summer quilts, are the types of tasks caregivers can help with. These kinds of tasks seem so simple when our bodies are in youthful shape, but many seniors come to realize that things just take longer and are more difficult as the years pass. That alone doesn't mean that it's time to give up your independence. It just means you need a little bit of assistance and a caregiver can help with that.
Caregivers Allow a Renewed Sense of Freedom
Independence—the desire to maintain it, to hold on to it as long as possible—is a major concern for many seniors. Our minds may be as sharp as they once were, but our bodies often don't cooperate as well as they did in the past. Whether it's gardening, cooking, going to get new books from the library or doing little fix-it projects around the house, some seniors find that the things they used to do to entertain themselves are a little bit too difficult.
There are other reasons seniors can give up on activities they once enjoyed, including the fact that they simply don't have the time or energy after taking care of day-to-day responsibilities. This is the stage in life where you planned to enjoy life and pursue your interests, but you might not have the energy to do so. The freedom to do what we want feels different through the lens of the aging. But a caregiver can help restore some of your time and energy by taking over the tasks you find so draining or by helping you out as you pursue these activities.
Caregivers Provide Relief for Friends and Family
Caregivers provide help and relief for seniors and, in doing so, they also provide help and relief for the loved ones in those seniors' lives. While most of us are happy to do everything we can for the people we love, even the most selflessly devoted daughter, husband, or neighbor may reach a point where they begin to feel burdened or burned out from the level of care and attention they're providing to another person. This is a recognizable phenomenon known as caregiver fatigue and it can bring up serious feelings of guilt and resentment in the people who suffer from it. Self-care is important, but it's hard to do nice things for yourself when you're so selflessly focused on the care of another person. This issue is at the root of caregiver fatigue.
This professional separation can also make it easier for seniors to reach out and seek help. A caregiver is a service professional, not a family member, so the parent-child authority balance isn't in play. If the setup between the caregiver and the client isn't working out, seniors and their families can always hire someone else who might be a better fit.
The types of tasks Caregivers can assist with include:
· Running errands such as grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, dry cleaner, post office, etc.
· Cleaning (i.e. dusting furniture and shelves, vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms, laundry, ironing, doing dishes etc.)
· Personal grooming and hygiene assistance
· Driving you to appointments
If you want to start the New Year with peace of mind, let 5 Star Home Care's services care for you and your loved ones. For more information or to set up a one on one consultation, call 5 Star in Chattanooga at 423-893-8181. For middle Tennessee, call 931-474-7823. Or visit www.5starHomeCare.com .
Working with a caregiver adds another dimension to a senior's life. Seniors can often feel that their lives have been reduced to a series of medical appointments.- Kenny Higdon
Contact 5 Star Home Care at 423-893-8181 or visit 5starHomeCare.com.