The majority of people have no choice when it comes to making a decision to be the primary person to care for our loved ones. Due to ageing, illnesses, or perhaps during the recovery period post-operation, many gradually transit into being the main person to provide care for their loved ones. It starts with simple tasks such as dropping by their house to prepare them meals, or taking your elderly to a doctor’s appointment. Over time, your role gradually grows and you now find yourself doing so much more, eg. running to the grocery store for their weekly necessities, or picking up their medication from the pharmacy.
On the other hand, some of us are given this responsibility overnight due to a downward spiral of health conditions (eg. stroke, heart attack etc.). This requires an immediate lifestyle change to adapt to the situation, and a flexibility to make do with whatever time & resources you may have. Some also have to quit their careers thinking there are no other options available.
Society has often placed unnecessary pressure on family members, especially the children, with the expectation that they have to assume the role of the primary person to provide care. Apart from needing to meet the expectations and requirements of our daily jobs, we have now taken on another significant responsibility of having to take care of our loved ones. It is quite common that many are unable to keep up with the demands, and start displaying signs of burnout, stress, and even depression.
The good news is there are services already in place to assist your family with providing the best care for your loved ones without needing to disrupt your whole life. It is vital to evaluate the overall health condition of your loved ones requiring care to be able to identify the degree and type of care needed.
Eastiny Home has identified a few key consideration when deciding if the family needs to engage the services of a professional caregiver.
- Frequent cases of being forgetful, lost, or confused
- Struggling to take the right medication at the right time
- Missing appointments set with doctors or family & friends
- Neglecting the safety and security of home
- Build-up of clutter over the years
- Leaving tasks abandoned midway
- Getting more summons from forgetting to pay parking ticket
These few scenarios gives us a little bit more insight to the mental condition of your loved ones. As they age, the tendency of decline for their mental health is very high. It is important to be able to identify what level they are at, and take the necessary actions to ensure that in no way are they exposed to unnecessary risks and dangers.
Emotional / Social Aspect
- Always feeling lonely
- Constantly feeling down, depressed, or frustrated
- Losing interest in previous hobbies or things which once made them happy
- Isolation – avoiding people, and social interaction
The emotional / social aspect is another great indicator of the condition of your loved ones. Studies have shown that those who age while being surrounded and supported by their loved ones and friends are more likely to live a longer, happier, and fulfilling life!
Being with your loved ones day in and day out may actually require you to take a step back to truly observe and notice these changes, sometimes gradual.
- Easily getting tired/exhausted
- Sudden changes in eating habits
- Gaining or losing excessive weight
- Strong body odour from poor personal hygiene
- Difficulty with ADLs (feeding, bathing, dressing, moving around)
- Trouble maintaining the cleanliness of the house
- More bruises due to falls or knocks
- Requiring medical attention / additional personal care
- Uses a medical equipment at home (eg. oxygen tank, concentrator, commode chair etc.)
The physical aspect may be easier to notice, simply by observing your loved ones. We all usually operate based on a habitual lifestyle, doing things the way we’ve been doing it all our lives. However when one ages, our physical condition may not be able to keep up. Slowly but surely, our loved ones may start to neglect certain tasks and activities which are vital to them. This happens because they no longer are able to execute it as easily as before, or at all, which causes them to experience frustration and lack of independence.
- Requires physiotherapy sessions to restore range of motion
- Requires wound management
- Requires tube changes and cleaning
- Requires simple medical procedures to be done at home
It is important to evaluate your loved ones every now and then to ensure that their safety and well being is at its best. If they happen to identify with the scenarios listed above, it is advisable to seek help from a professional to identify what their conditions are, as well as the proper course of action to be taken to provide the best care for them. Nurses and physiotherapists and also trained caregivers are able to handle the above conditions.
For those needing an extra hand to provide the companionship, care, and support to your loved ones, consider getting a professional caregiver. Professional caregivers are trained to know how to handle and provide care for your loved ones in a safe and loving way, they are also there as a companion for emotional support.
While some of us are able to manage the demands of our careers while acting as the primary caregiver for our loved ones, it is a stressful journey. Imagine having a stressful day at work, then having to pull an all-nighter taking care of your elderly loved one at home. You might want to consider engaging the services of a professional caregiver. This helps you in preserving your relationship as a family member or loved one, as opposed to being a chore person or taskmaster. You’re no longer striving to handle the nitty-gritty of caregiving, but are now able to provide the emotional support and TLC or focus on getting the home and yourself together.
Eastiny Home here to provide you with trustworthy, reliable, and trained caregivers, nurses and therapists. We are the first in Malaysia to offer certification from a university for our caregivers. Our caregivers are certified and trained with our proprietary technology to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), to provide specialised care for cancer, stroke recovery, post-hospitalisation, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and to perform medical procedures and therapies.