When people ask you to describe yourself, do you tell them you’re a family caregiver? Perhaps not, or perhaps you don’t use those words. Instead, you might be more likely to describe yourself by your job title or as being a parent. You may not tell people you’re a caregiver because that just seems like something you naturally do for an aging relative. Or, maybe you just don’t know what makes a person a caregiver.
Who Fulfills the Role of a Family Caregiver?
Right now, according to the Population Reference Bureau, there are 46 million people who are 65 or older in the United States. Experts say that by 2060 that number will double because the Baby Boomer generation is reaching their senior years. As people age, many of them need assistance to do regular daily tasks. They often rely on family caregivers for that help.
Right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 34 million people in the country who provide unpaid care to adults. Many of them spend 20 or more hours per week providing care.
What Kinds of Things Do Family Caregivers Do?
Exactly what a family caregiver does depends largely on what their aging relative needs. For some, they may only provide occasional checks to make sure the senior is eating or taking care of their financial obligations. Others may spend much more time with the senior and might help with personal care tasks, like dressing and bathing.
Some of the tasks a family caregiver might do are:
- Making meals.
- Shopping for groceries and other necessities.
- Washing, drying and folding laundry.
- Helping the senior to get dressed.
- Assisting with bathing, grooming, and other personal care.
- Organizing and managing medications.
- Transfers from wheelchairs to beds and other surfaces.
- Making appointments and driving the older adult to them.
- Dealing with emergency situations.
Sometimes caregivers find themselves suddenly taking on the role when an older adult becomes ill or injured. Other times, the role grows slowly over time.
They might start by just taking care of one or two tasks, like grocery shopping or helping them to pay bills. As time goes on and the senior’s health and needs change, the caregiver’s role may expand into other areas.
If the job of being a caregiver becomes overwhelming, you may find yourself needing help. Ask family members and friends if they can take on some of the caregiver duties. If not, you can also contact a home care agency to arrange for home care providers to come to the older adult’s home and help them while you are away. Home care providers offer non-medical assistance, including dressing, bathing, cleaning, cooking, and much more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Philadelphia, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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