CAREGIVER RESPONSIBILITIES LIST: CARING FOR MY PARENTS
The duties of a caregiver can vary depending on their connection with the person they are proving the care for. It also depends on the support the older person needs. In many cases, live-in caregivers are the relatives of the person they are providing the support and assistance.
Family caregivers offer in-home care and non-medical services. No matter the amount of love that exists between a caregiver and an older person, caregiver responsibility and long-term care is a daunting challenge that gets more difficult as the aging parent gets older.
More than 50 percent of primary caregivers have noted that the role of caregiving takes a toll on their productivity at work. Another 75 percent of primary caregivers indicated that caregiving takes a toll on their family.
Almost all caregivers, including family caregivers, say the role is a very demanding one. The responsibility and expectations of a caregiver are really high. Some caregivers say they lose their sense of privacy in the job.
Caregiving can be challenging both on someone’s psychological and physical well-being. If you don’t take control of your time, you might hardly have enough time for yourself as a caregiver, even if you are only doing such for your parents.
While being a live-in caregiver is quite challenging, being a support system for someone who is unable to help themselves is purely rewarding. It can be even more rewarding if you take into consideration the responsibilities required of you if you painstakingly carry them out.
What are those responsibilities required of a caregiver? Read them below.
1. Assisting With Personal Care
One of the biggest responsibilities of a caregiver is to assist the older person with personal care. Some of the personal care includes bathing, grooming, and dressing up. There is a huge task on the shoulders of caregivers to help the elderly with these duties.
As a caregiver, part of the personal care responsibilities also includes toileting. Some older people have difficulties with mobility which affects their ease of toileting. They usually need support to be balance well and to clean themselves after using the toilet.
Others who are still somewhat mobile might need help doing some exercise like jogging in the morning or taking a walk. It is part of the responsibilities of a caregiver to guide them during any form of exercise which is a good thing for their health.
2. Basic Preparation Of Food
The preparation of food is not limited to cooking alone. Caregivers should be able to go beyond the mere preparation of meals. The older person must be assured that you are there for shopping of the food ingredients, arranging the food items where they should be, and more.
As a caregiver, you are responsible for cooking the meal, dishing the meal appropriately, feeding the older woman if she needs such care, cleaning the dish, and keeping the kitchen in its best possible state. Those are the basic food responsibilities of a caregiver that you should note.
3. General Health Care
Health is the most important aspect of aging. Older people, at this point of their lives, do not prioritise any other thing above their health. As such, your help comes handy when it comes to taking proper care of older people, especially when it concerns their health in particular.
As many older people usually experience a decline in cognitive abilities, it is common for them to forget the doctor’s prescription for a particular drug. It is possible for them to take beyond or below the specified dose.
This is where your responsibility comes in. You are responsible to overseeing their drug intake. You are to ensure that aging parents take the medication at the exact time and with the prescribed time interval while not overdosing. You are also responsible for keeping with medical appointments.
4. Mobility Assistance
Even aging parents with mobility issues want to move out. They even love walking with their adult children or their caregiver. Older people want to go out to see what is happening. They think they must have missed a lot while staying indoors for some time.
Often, they just want to stay outside and look around, nothing more. It is your responsibility to help them do all of this. You will also need to help those who are immobile to get in and out of wheelchair.
Also, the very aged ones who might have difficulty entering into a vehicle will need your help. The responsibilities of a caregiver are challenging. However, you have to see the precious help you are providing to someone who will always be thankful you are there to help.
5. Personal Supervision
Older parents usually act like babies as their ages increase. It is no one’s fault. That is how nature has been tailored. Their baby-like actions means you will have to do some supervision and give them orders to stick by. You are not meant to sound arrogant or disobedient.
You are only meant to give them the care you would give to a baby. They need supervision on what to wear, where to walk, and where an item is located, etc. Put simply, your responsibility as a caregiver is to provide help whenever it is needed.
6. Emotional Support
More than being a caregiver, you have to be a reliable companion. Older people, whether they are your parents or not, are in need. Their needs are not necessarily financial. Most of their needs are emotional. They can be somewhat surprised by how few people pay them a visit.
75 percent of primary caregivers indicated that caregiving takes a toll on their family
They need people who can stay by them, people who they can discuss and laugh with, and people who they can share their deep feelings with. It might be quite a challenge if you have lots to do at home, especially if you are raising a young family.
However, the few minutes that you give to an older person can make all the difference in the world. You have to be a companion they can rely on when it comes to every matter of life including health, emotional, physical, and personal matters.
Older people need help when moving from one place to another. Much of transportation has been covered in this article. However, there is a little difference here.
While you can support them to move from one place to another, it is more important if you can run those errands for them. You should be able to visit the clinic to help them get their medications. You can do some activities for them to give them some ease.
8. Be The Mediator
The responsibility of a mediator is to be the person who takes the position to pass information and feedback from one individual to another. That is who you should be if you really want to be impactful as a caregiver.
As the child of the aging parent, chances are you are already doing it. However, there is more to being a mediator than you think. As a mediator, you are tasked with collecting the information from the doctors and giving such information to your aging parent and your siblings.
You are to follow the health of the older person very closely. You should make it your responsibility to take note of any changes in the older person’s health. You are to record and report any difference or alteration in the health of the older person.
Your major responsibility as a mediator is to focus on the aging parent and pass of any observation to the appropriate persons. This is the kind of responsibility that makes anyone a good caregiver.
9. Home Organization
Older people do not have the strength to clean homes and arrange rooms the way you can. Many do not even do such anymore as their power can’t sustain such.
Therefore, organizing the home of your aging parents becomes your responsibility. You are tasked with general house cleaning and cleaning of a specific part of the apartment like the toilet. You are also responsible for cleaning of house furniture and equipment.
10. Handle A Crisis Or Medical Emergency
This is the scary part for some caregivers. However, there is nothing to fear about an older person experiencing a medical crisis. If you have been playing your role as a caregiver very well, you wouldn’t have to be terrified.
In times of a medical crisis or emergency, you only have to call other relatives of the elderly person. You should also get a quick means of transporting the older person to the hospital for sound medical examinations.
11. Back-Up Caregiving
You might have to support another caregiver when they are not available. You have to be ready to shoulder these responsibilities even if you are acting as a back-up to someone else.
Caregiving responsibilities are important for both the caregiver and the recipient. Knowing your responsibilities will help you avoid unnecessary clash with the older person or family members.
Some of the responsibilities of a caregiver like running errands for the older person can even be done while going to or coming from a location. You can buy your family items together with that of the older person.
If you want to take the best care of an older person, think of the responsibilities you have to shoulder. With this, you will preserve your own personal and family time and stay happy.
Primary Caregivers That Say Caregiving Takes A Toll On Work Productivity
Older parents usually act like babies as their ages increase. It is no one’s fault.