Primary Care and Your Loved OneWhen an individual has a condition which requires personal care within the home, having a loved one address their needs can be comforting and result in their experiencing fewer symptoms.  However, for the caregiver, taking care of a loved one at home can be challenging.   This is especially true when the caregiver is trying to manage other employment and their household at the same time.  Here are some important considerations for those contemplating taking on the primary care role in their family.

Be Realistic

When someone you care about becomes injured or ill caring for them may be a matter of taking a few weeks off of work while they get on their feet.  However, when someone has a permanent and severely debilitating condition which requires long-term attendance, taking on their needs is a huge responsibility.  If you are working a full-time job or raising children, this commitment may be more than you can handle.  Further, even if you are in a position to devote your time to your loved one you also need to consider how much stress it will place on you and other members of the household.  It is vital that you take a realistic look at your circumstances and thoroughly research what will be required for your loved one’s care before agreeing to be a primary caregiver.

Assess Available Resources

Being a primary care provider may require that you spend most of your time attending to your loved one’s care.  However, there will inevitably be times when you need a break from your responsibilities to attend to your own life and decompress.  Community resources such as respite care, adult day centers, and specialized relief programs can provide a means for you to take time away from primary care.  Additionally, many communities have numerous offerings of support resources for caregivers.  Investigate the programs which are available in your community and find out how they may work for your situation.

Be Willing to Consider Alternatives

As much as you want to keep your loved one in the home, their symptoms may be so severe as to require round-the-clock skilled nursing and attendant care which will be better provided in a nursing home, hospice, or another facility environment.  While it can be difficult for your loved one to transition from your care to that of a more formal setting, it may be necessary.  If your loved one has advanced needs, talk to them and their medical providers about the most suitable care options.

Taking care of a loved one as a primary caregiver can be a good alternative.  However, it is critical that you carefully evaluate your situation, their needs, and available support and care options before taking on this role.  We are knowledgeable about available resources and options and can help. Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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