Michele's Blog


By Michele Scott

Whether it’s after a surgery, a serious illness, recuperating or suffering from a mental disorder, your Caregiver is by your side day and night, 24/7, tending to your every need. Caring for an elder or ill family member can be enormously rewarding, yet it can be emotionally and physically draining. A getaway for a few days, a week, or just a few hours a day can calm nerves, reduce stress and restore energy. Today caregivers are taking advantage of government programs, insurance programs and family leave. They are reducing hours or quitting a job to care for a loved one at home. New Caregivers as well as seasoned ones face the same challenges; a physically draining emotional roller-coaster. Whether the person you are caring for wants you there every minute of the day, or realizes you too require “care”, there are a few things you can do to make life easier for both of you.

Post-Partum, Recuperative and After Surgery Rehabilitation home based caregivers can turn to professional home-health aids, respite caregivers, home sitters, companions or medical assistants. However, bringing someone into the home to provide caregiving services must be agreed upon by both parties. Discuss the services you want them to provide, how many hours or days their service is wanted or needed, any special requirements such as heavy lifting, medicating, administering therapy, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation or light-house-keeping.

Identify financial obligations. Verify insurance coverage and if there is none, research local or state programs. If you are a “cash customer”, decide how much you want to invest and what source the funds will come from. In choosing to bring an outside caregiver into your home, communications is key. If a specific sex is requested, go with it. Many men are uncomfortable with women providing personal care, and many women prefer a woman when alone in a home with a stranger.

As the Caregiver, you have mental, physical and emotional needs, so does the patient. They are just as uncomfortable as they appear to be; many are scared, lonely, upset or depressed. Sometimes love and caring isn’t enough - empathy and respect are expected. Make a calendar and share it with them, plan meals around foods they enjoy, introduce outside caregivers during waking hours (no one wants to awaken to a strange face) and keep to the schedule. If the plan is for you to be gone four hours, return in four hours. The sick and elderly, specifically those who are home-bound or bed-ridden experience time differently. They tend to worry when schedules and routines aren’t maintained.

Post hospitalization case management and private duty care is also available. Today nursing homes and care facilities depend on family and friends to assist in recuperative / respite care. These family members are Caregivers and like those providing services in their homes, re-energizing is a necessity. Many facilities require family members to bathe, clothe, feed and provide companionship for their loved one. Many require they provide over-night care.

Regardless of where your loved one is; love, caring, empathy, patience and respect works both ways. Home Helpers, is here to help. We know and understand the challenges caregivers face. Call us to learn more.