Recognizing Why Caregiving is so Important & Who’s Best to Do It
Every February, the staff at Gulf Coast Health Care celebrate National Caregiver’s Day. This year was no different, as we took the time to thank and honor our staff who take care of our residents.
Here, we share our favorite ideas on how to honor the caregiver in your life. We also share why non-professional caregivers might want to consider professional care for their loved one.
How to Recognize the Caregiver in Your Life
There are many ways you can show appreciation for caregivers who are taking care of a family member. These are some of the ways we recognize our staff:
- Gifts: Consider giving a gift to the caregiver in your life to show what they mean to you, such as baked goods, hand lotion, or a gift card.
- Social Media posts: You can create a post on your social media using the hashtag #nationalcaregiversday to show support and include a message or brief description of what you appreciate about caregivers.
- Thank you notes: A heartfelt thank you can be very meaningful and impactful. Think about writing a letter to a caregiver detailing how much their work means to you.
- Donating in their honor: Sometimes, caregivers aren’t allowed to accept gifts directly. In this case, it might be a good idea to contribute to a favorite charity or cause of theirs in their name.
The Pros and Cons of Caregiving
While It may seem natural to take on the responsibility of being a caregiver to your own parent or loved one, providing those vital services yourself can come at a high cost. You may be pleased knowing you are the one providing the care needed by your loved one; however, caregiving can often come at the cost of your own mental and physical well-being.
Studies have shown, for instance, that non-professional caregivers often develop depression and insomnia due to the pressures of providing full-time care to a loved one. Caregivers also frequently miss work and deadlines due to taking on this extra commitment.
Providing care also comes at a substantial financial cost, not to mention the added strain on your relationship with any siblings when they fail to help with the responsibilities of caregiving. Finally, becoming a caretaker means that you spend less time with your immediate family members.
Trust a Reputable Nursing Home for Caregiving Services
The alternative to providing caregiving services yourself would be to hire a skilled medical professional such as a nurse, physical therapist, or doctor to offer basic at-home services. Such specialists can help your loved one with wound care, catheters, feeding tubes, injections, and other needs.
On the other hand, if your loved one needs more than the basic care that a traditional home setting can offer, nursing homes are likely the best solution. Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care without having to be in a hospital setting.
Nursing homes help with your loved one’s meals, personal care needs, mobility issues, laundry, and expert medical care or therapy whenever they might need it. Having so many services on-site for residents is a considerable advantage for nursing homes and goes a long way toward relieving a single caregiver’s stress.
On top of meeting your parent or other loved one’s medical and everyday needs, nursing homes provide the social interaction that your loved one desperately needs to stay well.
Caregivers and Respite Care
If you’re the one providing full-time care to a loved one with a severe illness or disability, sometimes you need time for yourself to relax, go shopping, take a vacation, or take care of any other personal errands.
This is where respite care can be a big help. This is a service offered by individual nursing homes and senior centers that can offer your loved one a safe and comfortable place to receive care for as long as you need–from a few hours to a few weeks.
Skilled health professionals can help your loved one with:
- Eating or drinking
- Taking medications
- Enjoying the outdoors
- Getting into and out of bed
Some assisted living centers even offer respite care that can include music or dance programs, or even art classes lead by qualified professionals, so your loved one can socialize with others. This is an effective way to help someone elderly or suffering an illness who struggles with isolation and loneliness at home.
Respite care can give them all the highly-skilled attention they need from professionals and peers while giving you a much-deserved break.
Make the Right Choice for Your Loved One’s Care
Let’s all recognize the sacrifice made by caregivers this month. If your loved one needs the vital services provided by a professional caregiver, find a today to learn about their programs and nursing care options, including respite care.