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Caring for the Caregiver

By May 9, 2022May 18th, 2022No Comments
caring for caregiver senior living

More than one in five Americans, which is approximately 53 million individuals, are caregivers. These heroes bless the lives of others every day. What exactly is a caregiver? A caregiver is anyone who watches over and cares for another person. A caregiver can be a mother, father, son, daughter, friend, or individual that works in the healthcare world. A caregiver can be someone that is paid or unpaid. They are involved in assisting others with their activities of daily living (ADLs). Approximately 31% of caregivers provide 20 or more hours per week of care, and over 50% of them have assisted their loved one for over 24 months.

Caregivers are known for having big hearts and often put the needs of others before their own. Although their intentions are good, it can sometimes result in fatigue, burnout, and when taken to an extreme, health complications. Research has shown that roughly 14.5% of caregivers reported 14 or more mentally unhealthy days in the past month and 37% did not receive sufficient sleep. It is important for caregivers to remember that when caring for others, they need to take time to care for themselves. Here are a few tips for those that are caring for a loved one.

Take Time for Yourself

When an individual is caring for a loved one, they often feel guilty about the thought of taking time for themselves. It is hard to see a loved one’s health decline to the point that they can no longer participate in tasks or activities that they once were able to. This can be due to declining health, illness such as dementia or memory loss, or simply the progression of aging. Approximately 10% of caregivers that are attending to their loved one’s needs are doing so because of dementia or other cognitive impairments.

As a devoted companion, maybe you’ve told your loved one that you will always be there for them and never rely on others to help. However, taking a few hours a day or even several days to recoup, rest, and take care of personal tasks that need to be taken care of is not wrong or an act of abandoning a loved one. In fact, as a person takes this needed time, their stress levels will decrease, and they can come back refreshed and with the needed energy to continue caring for their loved one. Some ways to take time for yourself could include:

  • A day at the spa
  • Visiting a quiet, beautiful place
  • Going to a local museum, shopping, concert, or festival
  • Taking a trip to a desired destination
  • Enjoying the outdoors such as fishing, hiking, biking, or walking
  • Visiting friends or family members
  • Simply rest and relax

Whatever the activity, there are many ways to recharge and take some time for oneself. Most importantly, it’s okay to do so. If a person doesn’t know where to turn because they cannot leave their loved one unattended, there are services and reputable organizations that can help!

Consider Adult Day Care & Respite Services

Adult Day Care and Respite communities are designed to watch over individuals that need assistance and care, while allowing their loved one time away to take care of daily duties or rest and recharge. One may be wondering what is the difference between Adult Day Care and Respite? Adult Day Care is when an individual comes and visits for an hour or the entire day. Respite is when an individual stays overnight.

Adult Day Care and Respite services typically include:

  • Assistance with eating, dressing, taking medications, toileting, walking
  • Meals and snacks
  • Wholesome and engaging activities
  • Health monitoring
  • 24/7 up and awake caregivers
  • Social engagement
  • Educational programs or mental stimulation

What Should People Look for In An Adult Day Care & Respite Provider?

Choosing the right Adult Day Care provider is vital. Helping a loved one find an Adult Day Care Community where they feel comfortable, loved, and can engage in personal interests will make all the difference. When searching for an Adult Day Care community, it is recommended that you look at:

Staffing Ratios

How many staff members are there compared to the number of residents? The higher the staffing ratio, the better. If your loved one needs assistance, are they able to care for them quickly? It is important that the appropriate number of staff are readily available to tend to your loved one’s needs.

Inviting And Fully Furnished Room (If staying overnight)

It is important that your loved one feels comfortable during their stay. An inviting, fully furnished room is essential. Ensure that the room is well kept, has a private bathroom, temperature control, comfortable bed, and linens.

Delicious And Nutritious Meals

Do they provide home-cooked meals and tailor to special dietary needs? It is essential that the food that is being served not only looks and tastes good but is full of health-promoting nutrients.

Engaging Activities

Do they have a dedicated activities director that helps the residents participate in engaging, life-enriching activities? It is one thing to participate in an activity. It is another thing to participate in one that genuinely interests your loved one. Find out if the activities that are offered can be tailored to your loved one’s interests.

Accessible Administrator

Is the administrator readily accessible to answer your questions or address needs? It is important that you can discuss needs or concerns quickly and not have to wait several days before gaining a response. Assess whether you can easily communicate with the administrator, and how likely they will be able to address you and your loved one’s needs.

Residents Are Content And Well Groomed

Are the residents happy and look well cared for? It is crucial that your loved one receives the attention, care, and respect that they deserve. Observing the residents at the community you are visiting will give you a good idea as to how attentive the staff are and the type of care that is being provided.

Inviting And Calm Atmosphere

Does the atmosphere feel right, and does it feel inviting? From the moment that you drive up to the adult day care and respite community, what type of a feeling do you get? Does it feel welcoming, light, and portray an encouraging atmosphere? When you walk up to the door and enter the building, does it give you a positive impression? Are you warmly greeted by the staff? A calm and welcoming atmosphere is important when choosing the right adult day care and respite community for your loved one.

Great Survey Outcomes

Does the community have good survey outcomes, and have they been awarded local and national quality awards? When selecting an adult day care and respite community, investigate the survey outcomes. Look at their survey history and determine whether there have been positive or negative outcomes.

These are just a few questions to ask when searching for the perfect adult day care and respite community.

Choose The Cottages Senior Living

The Cottages Senior Living will provide the best environment for your loved one as they engage in the adult day care and respite services. Their small, home-like atmosphere and high staff-to-resident ratio helps ensure that the residents are well cared for, and their needs are addressed. The Cottages Senior Living homes only have a maximum of 16 residents per home, which enables our staff to give more personalized care. The home-cooked meals not only follow dietary guidelines but are delicious and nutritious. The activities are tailored to the residents’ wants and desires, creating life-enriching moments. The administrator has an open-door policy and is never too busy to meet with family or answer questions. The home and atmosphere feel calm, happy, and look like a home. The Cottages are secure but never feel like an institution or hotel. The Cottages Senior Living has received numerous national and state quality awards for their well-run homes, exuding superior care.

If you are looking for an exceptional Adult Day Care and Respite community, look no further. Call The Cottages today to schedule a tour or speak with one of our experts! (208) 475-1805.

 

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Caregiving for Family and Friends — A Public Health Issue. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/caregiver-brief.html

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