Should a Family Member Be a Parent's Caregiver

We are a member of several industry groups that include discussion topics meant to stimulate thought and improvement in the are of in-home care for seniors.  One of them is the National Senior Living Providers Network, which is the Internet “location” for a discusion about “Should I become my parent’s caregiver?”

I think the answer should not be a “yes” or a “no,” actually. At our in-home care agency (Support For Home, in the Sacramento, CA region), we believe that client homecare is family care and that, ideally, homecare is a team effort — the homecare agency, including administrative staff and Home Care Aides, the family members (whether local or remote) and the client.

The statistic that we in the homecare industry know all too well is that about 63% of family caregivers actually die before the person for whom they are caring.  That says it all about the stresses — physical, emotional, psychological — of being a family caregiver.

In addition, good in-home care means a certain amount — actually, a lot — of care management, beyond the direct support of ADLs and IADLs delivered by the home care agency. Being able to identify and locate resources for home safety, fall prevention, emergency alert systems, mobility support, etc., reuires a lot of time and knowledge.

So, for the good of the client and the good of the family members, adding a non-medical in-home care agency to the team is really important.  Whether you agree or disagree, please let us know.

Best wishes, Bert


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