Family or Caregiver?

When your loved one reaches an age where they need help for daily living, it may become blurred what appropriate behavior you should exhibit. It is important that you make the decision for both you and your loved one in the type of role you will be part of during the changes that are sure to come.

This type of transition can take its toll on both ends of the family. As much confusion as you are going though, imagine what your loved one is going through. The change to everyday living can be overwhelming to some. I have seen it firsthand where a client is forced to have a caregiver. This client didn't respond well to the new faces in the household, and at first, was not eating or drinking fluids like they should. They buried themselves internally and didn't communicate very much and was reluctant about allowing someone else to assist them in doing anything. However, when a family member came over, it was as if a switch had been turned. This person would start to eat, drink, smile and talk like nothing was wrong. After noticing this change the family started making a habit of coming over every day for dinner to be able to sit and eat with her. Her health shot up tremendously and is doing better now than when she first needed caregivers.

That trigger of familiar faces or a routine can prove to be tremendous in the quality of life for your loved one. This is a perfect example of being able to remain as the spouse, daughter, son, grandchild, etc., while having a caregiver in the household to help with the aspects they can't do their own from medications, personal hygiene, etc.  The choice of using a trained caregiver or providing care ourselves as a family member is highly personal. Most important when making any transitions is to remain calm and kind. There is a lot of stress involved when deciding which route to utilize and when caring for a loved one which leads to emotional disputes. Make sure that when caring for a loved one or simply just being a family member, you are maintaining appropriate behaviors as well as reminding your loved one that they need to be appropriate. We all have bad days and that is alright but realize that it is happening and adjusting ourselves accordingly is very important.

It may be hard at first to figure out role you can play with this transition, and how to behave appropriately.  It is perfectly acceptable to give yourself and those involved a break. Don’t be too tough on those that are working on this transition. Give it time and have patience as well as keeping the routine as normal as possible. You can find yourself being family again!

At Midnight Sun Home Care, we understand how family roles can change when a senior begins to require care, and that changes in an older loved one are experienced differently by each member of the family. Through relationship building and active support, the professional Anchorage AK caregivers at Midnight Sun Home Care take great care to understand each individual we serve and their full support network so that reinforcement of familial relationships can take place.

To learn more about our personalized, family-focused Anchorage AK home care services and how we can help you navigate the transition to caregiver, contact us today. We’re always ready to listen, support, and assist.


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