The coronavirus pandemic is concerning for all of us, but it poses an even greater risk for vulnerable populations like older adults. Long-term care facilities are a great option for many seniors, families are understandably concerned at this time. Even though assisted living homes and nursing homes follow the CDC best practices and most stringent guidelines to keep their residents safe, over 35,000 residents in facilities around the nation have contracted COVID-19.
After many weeks or months of not even being able to see relatives in senior care facilities, many families are beginning to consider bringing their senior home and becoming their caregiver.
While it can be tempting to imagine bringing your older loved one back home, there are some really serious considerations that come with being their caregiver. In this post, we explain the reality of being a caregiver and the key factors you must consider before removing your senior from long term care.
Long-Term Care Facilities Are Taking the Right Steps
Nursing homes and assisted living communities are filled with older adults who have underlying conditions, which makes them danger zones for COVID. When the disease enters a facility, it poses a serious health risk to all residents. The outbreaks in some facilities, combined with the inability to see loved ones is a major source of concern. Before you remove your older loved one from a long-term facility, you must remember that these communities are still some of the safest places for seniors right now because of all the precautions they are taking. Workers are diligently sanitizing shared surfaces, closely monitoring residents, testing staff, limiting group activities, and following all CDC protocol. Additionally, these facilities are doing this while still meeting all of the care requirements of their residents.
The Role of a Caregiver
Before you can even consider caregiving, you should fully understand the responsibilities of the role. Being a caregiver is not just about helping out here or there, as a caregiver, you must help the person with all daily needs. That means, you may be responsible for:
- Assisting with bathing and hygiene
- Navigating social services and personal finances
- Calling and transporting to the doctor and other essential appointments
- Managing and administering medications
- Food preparing and serving
- Speak with care managers about the person’s needs
- Handling unexpected situations
- Being on-call at all times
Do You Have the Resources to be a Caregiver?
To be a caregiver to your relative, you must have the right resources. Unfortunately, many family members who try to become caregivers do not have the necessary training to properly do each and every task, which can cause them to strain themselves.
Before you can caregiver, you must also fully prepare the home to meet your senior’s needs. You will likely need to make many numerous adjustments to make the home safe and functional for at-home caregiving. You must also learn about any illnesses or disabilities the senior has and you should take a CPR class. Additionally, you must assess the financial situation and find out about any legal matters you should know about.
Can You Care for Yourself?
One major challenge of caregiving is self-care. 61% of caregivers also work, but how would it feel to work another job, take care of your own family and responsibilities, and caretake for a senior with unique needs? Being a caregiver is difficult, challenging work, even if you love the person you care for. This is why 23% of Americans say caregiving has made their own health worse.
It is impossible for you to safely caretake, let alone manage your own family if your own health starts suffering. Caregiving is a very challenging work that can take a toll on you mentally and physically.
Find the Best Care Option
While being your loved one’s caregiver may be a great option for some families, it is not the right option for everyone. There are many different types of care available for seniors, and it is critical to find the one that is safest for your loved one. That’s where we can help. At no cost to you, we can provide a detailed assessment and find the best care environment for your loved one. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us HERE.