When a family member’s health is failing, the caregivers who step in to help out are truly the unsung heroes. Tending to a family member’s needs requires a lot of time, patience, and hard work on top of a normally already-busy schedule. In fact, seniorlivingmag.com reported that family members typically provide upwards of 80% of the care required in many cases. In addition, 20% of caregivers are spending more than 10 hours every week with caregiving tasks. While motivated by love, caregiving can easily become overwhelming and stressful, while also being incredibly fulfilling. Family caregivers provide loving support at a time when their loved ones most need it, and they are the underappreciated heroes working behind the scenes to make sure their loved ones are happy, healthy, and loved. And while family caretakers are a vital part of senior care, it is also important to know when to ask for help. Here are some of the main areas in which caretakers provide support, including when to consider additional help, thanks to seniorliving.com.
- Security - Is my family member at risk in their current living space? Is emergency help readily accessible should I be unable to help? Is there a risk of falling down? Is there a risk of crime?
- Housekeeping - What are my loved one’s abilities or limitations in regards to keeping up with the cleanliness of their living space? What are the limitations in regards to preparing food?
- Personal hygiene - Is my loved one easily able to maintain their personal hygiene? If not, how much time is required daily to help them? Is a home health aide necessary to help my loved one keep up their personal hygiene?
- Transportation - If my family member is unable to drive, how often am I able to take them to appointments and to run errands? If I am unable to, is there an additional support system who could help?
- Medical needs - Does my loved one need any additional nursing care at home that I am unable to provide? Can they administer their own medication, or do they need help?
- Social needs - Is my family member lonely? Are they content with the amount of time they spend with family or friends, or do they need more time spent in social situations?
Caregivers, it is not unloving or otherwise a negative thing to ask for help in caring for a loved one. While caregiving is a bonding experience which can bring one closer with their loved ones, there are always limitations to what we can reasonably do. Remember that stress can negatively affect your life and others’, and do not hesitate when you believe that the care needed by your loved one is beyond what you yourself can handle. Retirement living at Country Club is a caring community of like-minded people surrounded by supportive staff. You want the best for your loved one, and so do we.
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