Through our conversations with people, we’ve discovered that there are many misconceptions when it comes to aging. One misconception is the idea that once mom or dad need additional care at home the quality of their life will deteriorate. In reality, that notion couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, since research has shown that loneliness and isolation are two major risk factors when it comes to senior health and wellness, one might argue that receiving extra care at home is actually a boon to their quality of life--and health.
Caregivers Help Combat More Than Loneliness
In-home caregivers, in addition to providing companion care that helps to reduce loneliness, can also provide a wide range of services to their clients. Caregivers can offer assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as dressing, bathing, and grooming, and as well as light housework, like tidying, vacuuming, laundry, and cooking.
If needed, caregivers can also help with certain medical needs, like medication management, checking blood pressure and adhering to any specialized diets (like no salt for those with high blood pressure, or low sugar for those with Type 2 diabetes). An in-home caregiver can also provide physical assistance when needed, which can reduce accidents and prevent falls in and around the home.
Finding the right caregiver can not only improve the overall quality of life for your loved one, but it can also create a long-lasting friendship that has the potential to change the lives of both the caregiver and the care receiver.
The Benefits of Hiring A Private Caregiver
While there are many different ways to find care at home for your loved one, hiring a private caregiver has a host of social, physical, and mental benefits for the whole family. Not only can a private caregiver help your loved one combat loneliness and stay healthy, but they can also provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that your parent is in good hands.
A private caregiver allows you and your loved one to:
- Age In Place: Choosing to bring a private caregiver into your home is a great way to help your aging loved one remain in their own home, longer. A survey by AARP found that 3 out of 4 adults aged 50 and over would prefer to remain in their own homes, or age in place, as they grow older. Of that 76 percent, however, only 59 percent anticipate that they will be able to do so. This is due, in part, to the fact that many homes are not designed with aging bodies in mind--there are stairs to navigate, steep driveways to climb, and tall bathtubs to climb over. But investing in in-home care means that you don’t have to remodel your home or move to a senior living community because it provides you with the safety net you need to stay at home.
- Remain Independent: If mom or dad has had to give up the car keys and can no longer drive, a private caregiver can pick up the slack. Many private caregivers provide transportation for their clients and can accompany them to doctor’s appointments, on errands, and to the grocery store. Although adults who live in urban areas have access to comprehensive public transportation, there are many seniors who live in suburban and rural areas who run the risk of becoming isolated as a result of inadequate transportation options. A private caregiver with a valid driver’s license is an ideal way for your loved one to remain independent as they age.
- Peace of Mind: It’s been estimated that family caregivers provide unpaid caregiving services that amount to roughly $375 billion to loved ones each year, often at their own expense. Hiring a qualified caregiver to provide in-home care to your loved one will take some of the mental, physical, and financial burden off of you, as a family caregiver. It’s hard to put a price tag on the time you get back when you share caregiving responsibilities with a professional, and the peace of mind that you feel knowing that your loved one is safe at home.
Ready To Hire A Private Caregiver?
If you feel like it’s time to hire a private caregiver to help your loved one age in place, figuring out how to start the process can be overwhelming. That’s why we put together a Caregiver Interview Guide to help you navigate the process and feel confident in who you choose to hire. After all, a good caregiver has the potential to end up becoming an extended family member, so it’s important to take the time to make the right match.