Things to ask and consider as a caregiver

I came across a blog from Caitlin Burm with APlaceForMom.com in my research for caregiving. I googled, “What is a caregiver?” This is what I got before I read her blog…

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Her blog goes over the top 10 duties of caregivers. I will list them by suggestion:

  1. Prepare A Care Plan
  2. Assess Medical Needs
  3. Monitor Medication
  4. Assist with Basic Needs
  5. Prepare Meals
  6. Housekeeping
  7. Transfer
  8. Transport
  9. Companionship
  10. Monitor Performance

I agree for the most part for this list, but some of the responsibilities cannot be done by one person. There is also consideration that needs to be addressed at the time of the care plan, a budget. Not just financially, but as she suggested, time allocation. So consider her duties list along what my suggestions are and you should be on your way to a successful caregiving choice for you, your family, and the caregiver.

The cost of care is varied by state and by the level of care you need. For companion services, minimum wage will usually suffice, but for 24-hour type of care, you will most likely need skilled professional nursing and that costs much much more. And if you need to rely on friends and family because money is not available, then you want to do what you can with who you can.

A caregiver is normally the person with the biggest heart. Some caregivers are not and are caregiving by default. If you are designated a caregiver, consider my thoughtful recommendation from our experiences as a family. A spouse, by vows, is usually defaulted. Sometimes due to the physical, emotional, and spiritual demands, it cannot be them. It will land on a child who is an adult or other relative.

When assessing who will be caregiving, consider these questions:

  • What can this caregiver do well?
  • What can this caregiver be challenged by?
  • What help will they need to overcome these challenges?
  • Will this caregiver be able to ask for help?
  • What impact will it have positively and negatively on the caregiver’s life?
  • Will the person receiving the caregiving benefit from this arrangment? How?
  • Who can be a back up when the caregiver needs a break? (Then ask these same questions again)
  • What outlets does the caregiver have when they are needing relief?

If there is only one person or no one, then the hunt for adequate care comes in. That is when financial budgets should be addressed and heavily. Not all assistance is the same and if the choice is moving your loved one into assisted or skilled nursing residences, that’s a bigger investment.

Consider some of these questions/recommenations when looking for paid assistance:

  • Should you hire privately or through a home nurse staffing company?
  • What are the skills needed of the person you are hiring for?
  • Ask for references and CALL THEM
  • Do a background check
  • Is there an option of “day care”?
  • Are there non-profit operations nearby for temporary care?
  • If considering living facilities – ask around from outsiders what their opinion of the community is
  • Do several walk-throughs at different times of the day
    • does it smell?
    • try the food
    • what care is provided?
    • View the activity schedule
    • See the ratio of employees to residents
    • Check their emergency and safety procedures (employee attendance for weather and disaster)
    • Maintenance of facility
    • Cost of entry
    • Different levels of care
    • If they didn’t have space for your loved one, where would they recommend?

The last consideration and what Caitlin suggests at the end of her blog as well is to always adjust as necessary. Never be afraid to fire someone who is not doing best by your loved one or themselves if they are a family caregiver. If you notice signs of burn out from your caregiver, have them take time off. A burned out caregiver will hurt themselves and will hurt the relationship they have with their person they care for.

If you wish to read  Caitlin’s full blog post, please CLICK HERE.

If you have any suggestions on blog topics or comments, please leave them below.

Love and Compassion,

Rebecca

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