Defining Family Home Care: The Vital Role of the Family Caregiver

Are you a caregiver to an aging parent, friend, spouse, or other loved one? If, like many caregivers, you are juggling the responsibilities of children, a job, and family home care, you may often feel at your wit’s end. As you go about the often stressful tasks of attending to the personal needs of your loved one, you may start to doubt whether what you are doing is really making a difference or whether you can handle it all.

About Family Home Care

Family home care is when family members provide help and care to a child or adult who has limitations in daily activities. The typical caregiver is a woman in her 40s or 50s who works outside the home and also spends at least 20 hours a week helping an elderly loved one, most often her mother. Most caregivers provide care for five years or more. The caregiver’s relative or friend might live in their own home, assisted living, or the caregiver’s home. There are many programs and services available to assist a caregiver. Typical caregiving tasks include:

  • Talking with the loved one about fears and worries;
  • Making sure medications and other medical instructions are followed;
  • Scheduling and attending doctor, physical therapy and dentist appointments;
  • Helping with shopping and meals;
  • Assisting with memory care for loved ones with dementia;
  • Researching products to help treat problems like rashes on fragile skin;
  • Helping with daily tasks like dressing, toileting, and bathing;
  • Taking care of finances and banking.

Family Home Care is Vital for Loved Ones

Almost without exception, people prefer family home care. Your caregiving allows your loved one to spend their time in a place that is comfortable, safe, and feels like home. They don’t have to deal with strangers, and they know that someone who understands their needs is always there. Moreover, your loved one may find it easier to talk about problems or concerns with you than they would with their doctor or other health care professional. Family home care is also much less expensive.

Family Home Care is Vital for Families

Taking care of an elderly loved one at home allows families to spend more time with the older generation. As a caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed with the time your loved one requires. Perhaps it helps to know that your caregiving opens up many more chances for other family members to interact with your loved one than if the person was in a long term care facility. As you do the work of caregiving, you are also working to invest in creating healthy bonds between generations and lasting family memories. What can be more important than that?

Family Home Care is Vital for Society

When you make sure your loved one takes the correct medication or prepare a hot meal for them, you may not feel like an important part of your community, much less the U.S. economy. However, caregivers like you are essential components in the health care system. Even though you may feel alone, you are really a part of a large army of over 40 million caregivers in the United States who provide services worth an estimated $450 billion.

So when you spend time taking care of your loved one’s fragile skin, or changing their diaper because of their incontinence, realize that the caregiving you provide is important for your loved one, your family, and your community. Your role as a caregiver is vital on so many levels. Don’t allow anything to let you forget that.


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