When you think of home care, you may automatically think of illness. You are imagining someone in scrubs, spoon feeding a frail grandmother with a blanket on her lap. Yes, many people that are severely ill need around-the-clock, personal care but that is not the only time home care is necessary. Home care is also for people at the early stages of an illness or even for someone with no severe ailments but is simply aging and losing interest in household tasks.
Simple day-to-day tasks, like grocery shopping, doing laundry, changing the sheets, and making meals aren’t so simple when you can’t drive anymore, have arthritis, chronic back pain or fatigue. Having someone to help with things around the house can actually help with independence rather than taking it away. If someone has trouble doing laundry but is still great at cooking, they can focus on cooking while someone else does the laundry. Having someone in the house while you shower can prevent accidents and injuries that could lead to hospitalization and later even more loss of independence. Having someone there to make sure you took your pills properly guarantees better health and therefore avoiding any preventable decline.
Let’s say mom loves to get her hair done every Friday but can’t drive anymore. There can be someone there to make sure her clothes are clean by doing laundry, help pick out a great outfit and prepare a nice meal for when she gets back, and provide transportation. Why have mom miss her appointments she’s being going to for 50 years because she can’t do her laundry? What if dad passed away and you are noticing mom hasn’t been herself. She claims she’s okay when you call, but you know she’s not. A caregiver can provided companionship, they can participate in whatever activity she desires, go on walks, or bake old recipes. Mom may not be sick, but without a companion she will likely get depressed dealing with the grief of losing dad. A caregiver won’t replace dad but it will give her something to look forward to, to plan for.
Not everyone will be receptive to having help, especially if they aren’t sick. It may take some convincing but what’s important to remember is that bringing in a caregiver is not to take anyone’s independence away, but rather to keep it from disappearing all together. If one day, illness does progress or set in, then you already have someone you trust by your side. A caregiver is there to be what you need them to be, physically and emotionally.
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