There will come a time when you and/or the rest of the family will need to provide care for your senior parents. Additionally to them simply getting older and needing help, they could either have a disability or a long-term health condition. In this case, taking care of them at home is a bigger responsibility than you might realize. So, should you hire in-home care services in Vancouver, BC or should you and the family members act as caregivers?
If you do decide to go with family caregiving, it’s important that the whole family is on board so that all of you are working together and able to give your senior parent/s the care they need and deserve.
The Effects of Family Caregiving
A family caregiver’s responsibilities are similar to those that provide in-home care services in Vancouver, BC: house cleaning, giving medicines, grocery shopping, bathing, dressing and other similar tasks as well. A pro of family caregiving is that you will get to save on social costs (health services and the likes) however, this may come with challenges:
Emotional and Mental Health
Taking care of your senior parent/s is a big responsibility, on top of all the other responsibilities you already have. You will want to give them the time and attention they need. This could lead to your other responsibilities suffering or you constantly feeling guilty for not being able to give your senior parent/s the care they need. Over time this can have a significant impact on your overall health and daily life.
In the survey conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, over 4 out of 10 caregivers who take care of seniors with dementia experience caregiver distress. This is near twice the number of caregivers who care for seniors without dementia. Other studies reported that caregivers show higher levels of mental health problems and depressive symptoms than their non-caregiving peers.
Providing home care will include you assisting the senior with daily activities like getting out of bed, bathing, walking, etc. With time this can take the physical strain on your body. It’s also common for family caregivers to suffer from physical illnesses like headaches, pain and acid reflux. There are also reports on high levels of bodily pain and obesity.
Although the government does provide support and there are funding programs available, family caregivers pay some of the expenses straight from their own pockets. They pay for things like home modification, transportation, specialized aids or devices and professional health care services. They even shoulder the expenses on prescription and non-prescription drugs.
How to Overcome Family Caregiving Challenges
At the end of the day, you are only human and taking care of your senior parent/s is a big responsibility. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times. Instead of keeping your emotions inside, talk to someone you know will understand.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from burnout:
- Ask your family members for help with some of the tasks
- Look for caregiver support groups in your community
- Connect with friends
- Treat yourself
If family caregiving isn’t something that you can do or you are not confident to do, you may get help from a full-time caregiver who can provide in-home care services in Vancouver, BC. To make the process of hiring easier for you, consider hiring through the Home Support Worker Pilot. Get in touch with us today to learn more.