Many of us have no choice when it comes to making a decision to be the primary caregiver of our elderly parents. Due to ageing, illnesses, or perhaps during a post-hospitalisation recovery period, we might find ourselves looking after all of their day-to-day affairs and well-being. Over time, without realising it, our role gradually grows and we could be doing even 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 the sudden downward spiral of our parent’s health (eg. stroke, heart attack etc.). This requires an immediate lifestyle change and the flexibility to make do with whatever time and resources we may have. Some of us have also had to quit our careers to fulfil a caregiving role, especially since we thought no other reliable options existed.
We’ll cover the following in this article:
- Acknowledging Caregiving as a Huge Responsibility
- The Mental Aspect
- The Emotional / Social Aspect
- The Physical Aspect
- The Post-Hospitalisation Aspect
Acknowledging Caregiving as a Huge Responsibility
Society has often placed unnecessary pressure on family members, especially children, with the expectation that they have to assume the role of the primary person who provides care to loved ones. Apart from needing to meet the expectations and requirements of our daily jobs, we have now taken on another significant responsibility of a caregiver. It is quite common that many are unable to keep up with these demands and start displaying signs of burnout, stress, and even depression.
The good news is that there are services which can provide the best care for your loved ones. Without disrupting everyone’s lives. However, it is vital to evaluate the overall health condition of your loved ones to be able to identify the degree and type of care needed.
Care Concierge has identified a few key considerations for families who are deciding whether or not they need a professional caregiver.
The Mental Aspect
- Frequent cases of being forgetful, lost, or confused
- Struggling to take the right medication at the right time
- Missing appointments with doctors or family and friends
- Neglecting the safety and security of their home
- Build-up of clutter over the years
- Leaving tasks abandoned midway
- Getting more summons from forgetting to pay parking tickets
The above can give us a little bit of insight into the mental condition of our loved ones. As they age, their mental health may decline and it is important to be able to identify what state they are in. If you take the necessary action at the right time you can avoid unnecessary risk and danger.
The 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 more 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.
The Physical Aspect
- Easily getting tired/exhausted
- Sudden changes in eating habits
- Gaining or losing excessive weight
- Strong body odour from poor personal hygiene
- Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living (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 them 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. 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 their safety and well-being. If you 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 in Malaysia, physiotherapists and also trained caregivers are able to handle the above conditions.
To provide companionship, care, and support for your loved ones, consider getting a professional caregiver. Professional caregivers are trained to handle and provide care in a safe and loving way.
While some of us are able to manage the demands of our careers while acting as the primary caregiver for our parents, it is a stressful journey. Imagine having a tough day at work, and 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 or nurse in Malaysia. This helps you in preserving your relationship as a family member as opposed to being responsible for chores or a taskmaster. With professional help, you’re no longer striving to handle the nitty-gritty of caregiving, but are now able to provide emotional support to your elderly parents and focus on yourself.
Care Concierge is 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 to assist with ADLs, specialised care for cancer, stroke recovery, post-hospitalisation, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and to perform medical procedures and therapies.
Contact us on 1300 22 8822 or drop us a message using the chat box on this page, to find out more about our caregivers and how they can help make life more convenient for your loved ones and you.