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When is it time to consider getting a professional caregiver?

When parents start aging, many adult children take on the duty of caring for them. Many might see it as their responsibility since their parents took care of them as they grew up. 

However, becoming a caregiver can be both a physically and emotionally stressful situation for any one person and their family. Caregivers might see it as their duty to care for their parents, or the caregiver may be the elderly parent's legal conservator who has the legal responsibility to secure quality care the parent needs. But when might it be time to consider obtaining a professional caregiver?

Regardless, here are a few circumstances when a family caregiver or conservator should consider obtaining a professional caregiver:

  1. The caregiver can no longer meet their needs: It is completely understandable that a child wants to do what they can to care for their parent. However, if they cannot meet their parent's needs-often specifically their medical needs if the parent has a serious illness-then hiring a professional caregiver might be a good option.
  2. The parent wishes to stay in their home: In many cases, conservators can find a nursing home or assisted living facility that will best meet their loved one's needs. However, if the aging parent still has the mental capacity to make a rational decision and wants to stay in their home, a professional caregiver can often come to their home.
  3. The caregiver needs a break: Caregiver burnout is a real problem individuals face. And it can be dangerous for both the caregiver and their parent. Finding care options during the day or perhaps switching off shifts with a professional caregiver can help individuals avoid the risk of caregiver burnout and still meet their loved one's needs.
  4. The adult child lives far away: In past blog posts, we have discussed how the use of technology is helping caregivers who do not live near their aging parents. However, there may come a time when technology is insufficient for the aging parent to safely continue living independently. It is an option for individuals to get a professional caregiver to obtain some support and help in the care of their parents.

If family caregivers consider hiring a professional caregiver, they must take great care throughout the process. They should ask their loved one what their opinion is and understand their perspective. And they must ensure that they take great care to consider the professional caregiver's qualifications and ensure they will meet their aging parent's needs.

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