An estimated 44 million American families and/or friends are caregivers for another adult, accounting for 80 percent of long-term care. Add to these statistics the predictions that the number of people aged 65 years and older will quadruple in the next 30 years, pretty much guarantees that live-in caregivers such as family members and friends will be needed for the long-term.
Many are unprepared for the onslaught of responsibility and stress that comes from caring for an adult, and many continue to provide care while trying to maintain a job and care for their own children.
The arrangement may have come about because of a parent or other older adult has started experiencing difficulties accomplishing or managing some or all daily activities or necessities.
If it becomes obvious that your loved one or friend needs a live-in caregiver, here are a few things to consider before jumping into the role.
Are you the Right Live-In Caregiver?
Assess your strengths and weaknesses and how you handle opportunities and threats. It helps to actually sit down and write out your strengths as a caregiver and how those strengths could benefit the person needing care.
Examine your weaknesses and how they could affect or have consequences in your role as a caregiver.
Examine what opportunities and resources may be available to you and to your loved one to help them cope with their limited abilities.
Consider the threats both immediate and long-term from the outside world and from inside the house. Sometime significant home modifications are necessary to make a house safe and easy to cope with from a limited-abilities point of view.
Tips for Managing as a Family Member Live-In Caregiver
1) Make sure you have documents such as blood sugar chart, medical emergency contacts and medication history chart easily accessible for quick reference.
2) Approach the person you’re assisting from the front and make eye contact to avoid startling and confusing them. While you’re assisting them, use a calm voice and keep making eye contact.
3) Adjust your timing.