Let’s hear it for our caregivers! That’s the message that the team at Accredited Home Care wants to share with the world this time of year.
The home health care agency provides hands-on care to Sherman Oaks-area residents.
Some clients need a large assortment of services. Others may already have their own caregiver, but appreciate supplementary services, especially medical procedures a caregiver may not have training in or feel comfortable providing.
Caregivers are an important part of how our world helps seniors or others who may need assistance with physical or mental tasks.
Eventually, most of us will need a caregiver, or at least have family members or other loved ones who will.
This point was emphasized by former President Barack Obama in November 2016, when he celebrated National Family Caregivers Month. His presidential proclamation shared how important caregivers are for our current society, whether they are the sole care providers or are part of a team of caring medical professionals offering different services and skills to help a person in a variety of ways.
President Obama also recognized the various state and federal agencies that help provide caring resources to caregivers in communities around the country, including members of the military who not only provide service to the country but go home to offer caring support to family members.
He had other kind words for people who put effort into making sure loved ones have the care and attention they deserve, and said their open-hearted empathy should be commended.
Caregiving is certainly a difficult task – though some people do it as a paid profession, some family members do it at no charge, simply because they feel it’s important to offer these type of caring services. It could be a wife caring for a husband, or vice versa, or perhaps a daughter and son-in-law caring for an ailing parent.
Some family members or loved ones take on caregiving roles even though it’s an unpaid or low-paying position, and they don’t have any formal medical or nursing training. They just feel it’s important.
Home caregiving offers other advantages – it allows people to remain in their homes and not have to relocate to a care facility. Staying in a comfortable home environment can often be calming and not disruptive.
Caring all year long
Though November is considered National Family Caregivers Month, there are other times of the year to recognize the important role of caregivers.
For instance, Feb. 17 is now considered National Caregivers Day, which came about as a suggestion from the Providers Association for Home Health and Hospice Agencies. This organization felt it was important to declare one day to recognize the contributions of all levels and experiences of caregivers, and make sure they know about many available resources in their communities.
In 2016, Michel Martin from NPR also affirmed a need for a day to celebrate the importance of people choosing to take care of others, especially as people age. She also suggested that more people should take this responsibility to be a caretaker, even though it goes against some current cultural norms to work hard and put career and self first.
Caregiving is a complete opposite philosophy – it’s helping someone else, sometimes out of the goodness of one’s heart with no expectation of salary. Some people may have this role for years, even as someone health declines. Though everyone agrees caregiving can be difficult work, many say it ultimately can be satisfying to be able to help a loved one or return the favor of someone who may have taken care of you, such as a parent.
If you’re currently a caregiver in the Sherman Oaks area or considering taking on these tasks and responsibilities, Accredited Home Care is happy to provide advice and suggestions.
The home health care agency can discuss what kind of assistance can be provided by family members and what services are better performed by trained medical professionals such as visiting nurses or therapists.
For instance, Accredited Home Care provides skilled and high-tech nursing, including advanced wound care and injections. It also provides access to trained experts in physical and speech therapy. These services would be less effective or even dangerous if offered by someone with little medical training.
However, there are some tasks that can be offered just as well by caregivers, including personal hygiene and grooming.
Accredited Home Care can provide the services of in-home caregivers as well, which can be an option for people who aren’t able to care for someone all the time or someone who would appreciate a break once in a while.
Like a family caregiver, these in-home caregivers can offer everything from meal planning to housekeeping to errands to laundry. Because they are available on an hourly or daily basis, they can provide some measure of respite care, which can be critical in helping caregivers avoid burn-out. In some cases, a home health aide can sit with the client while their caregiver enjoys some time off. Other times, the client can be taken to a respite care center in the community.
Whatever the source of caregiving, there are lot of ways it can benefit clients or family members.