When you need someone to look after you or a love one, it’s never easy to find a solution. You need a person that could be there for the relative long-term.
I, as a son and only child took on that role, while trying to start a business.
There’s no doubt the role is a very demanding one
The responsibility and expectations of a caregiver are really high. Some caregivers say they lose their sense of privacy in the job.
Caregiving can be challenging both on someone’s psychological and physical well-being. If you don’t take control of your time, you might hardly have enough time for yourself as a caregiver. This can happen even if you are only doing such for your parents.
While being a live-in caregiver is quite challenging, being a support system for someone who is unable to help themselves is purely rewarding. It can be even more rewarding if you take into consideration the responsibilities required of you. Moreso if you painstakingly carry them out.
What are those responsibilities required of a caregiver?
The responsibilities of being a caregiver
Movement & mobility
One of the biggest responsibilities is to assist the older person with personal care. I, as a son spared my Mom from the embarrassment of me helping with some of the personal care duties, but there were times where we had to bring in a caregiver, initially after her operation, a Nurse and they were incredible, paying attention to the details that were important to my Mom.
For me, my role was the “motivator” – the constant reminder to keep moving, to keep mobile and to build muscle each day. She was beyond jogging, but not walking and her little dog was the reminder she needed. It is part of the responsibilities of a caregiver to guide them during any form of exercise. Flexibility and muscle are a preventative for so many things in later life.
Nutrition & planning
Of course the less mobile and active the older person is, the more often they focus on the smaller things to make them happy, such as food/drink.
Nevertheless, the caregiver needs to help with the planning, the ordering, preparing, sometimes watchful eye to ensure they eat it and of course to clear away after, leaving behind an immaculately clean kitchen.
Healthcare & meds
Health is the most important aspect of aging. Older people, at this point of their lives, do not prioritize any other thing above their health. As such, your help comes handy when it comes to taking proper care of older people, especially when it concerns their health in particular.
As many older people usually experience a decline in cognitive abilities, it is common for them to forget the doctor’s prescription for a particular drug. It is possible for them to take beyond or below the specified dose.
This is where your responsibility comes in. You are responsible to overseeing their drug intake. You are to ensure that aging parents take the medication at the exact time and with the prescribed time interval while not overdosing. You are also responsible for keeping with medical appointments & getting them there.
Coming from a traditional family, dealing with emotions isn’t second nature to me, nor for my dear old mom. We’d bottle things inside, keep it to ourselves and so when there’s an outburst, we’d be unsure how to deal with it.
Seniors need people who can stay by them, people who they can discuss and laugh with, and people who they can share their deep feelings with. It can be quite a challenge if you have lots to do, but it’s an investment for the longer-term. It builds familiarity and therefore trust between you, so make the time.
The few minutes that you give to an older person can make all the difference in the world. You have to be a companion they can rely on when it comes to every matter of life including health, emotional, physical, and personal matters.
Each one of us tends to hold onto things and none more so than the Silver Generation that has worked hard for everything they purchased. they come from a generation of “no waste” and is often something the rest of us should remember.
It does however mean homes are full of interesting items that need some organization.
Therefore, organizing the home of your aging parents becomes your responsibility. You are tasked with general house cleaning and cleaning of a specific part of the apartment like the toilet. You are also responsible for cleaning of house furniture and equipment. Keeping the yard tidy!
Caregiving responsibilities are important for both the caregiver and the recipient. Knowing your responsibilities will help you avoid unnecessary clash with the older person or family members.
Some of the responsibilities of a caregiver like running errands for the older person can even be done while going to or coming from a location. You can buy your family items together with that of the older person.
If you want to take the best care of an older person, think of the responsibilities you have to shoulder, plan them and discuss them.
Be a great caregiver
Karma is practical!