Many Family Caregivers Give Nursing Care

Many Family Caregivers Give Nursing Care

The responsibilities of a family caregiver come in many forms: cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing and other help with their aging loved one’s Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

Plus, there’s emotional support, corresponding with the doctors and pharmacists, bookkeeping, and even financial aid.

On top of all this, an AARP study recently revealed that the majority of family caregivers are also taking on care responsibilities that are usually relegated to registered nurses or other certified home care professionals–responsibilities like administering medication, preparing meals for a special diet, using incontinence equipment, etc.

What’s especially concerning is the fact that most of the family caregivers in the study admitted that they had little or no care training for performing these tasks.

AARP goes on to suggest that health care professionals need to offer or arrange proper training and support for family caregivers–and we agree. If you’re the caregiver, you have all the right in the world to demand more from your loved one’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others. Here’s a list of a few things to especially be aware of (via AARP).

  • Sign the pharmacy form that says you have been counseled on the prescription ONLY if you understand what the medication is for, how to give it, and what the potential side effects are.
  • Likewise, only tell the hospital that your loved one is ready for hospital discharge when you feel safe to perform the tasks instructed by hospital staff.
  • If you feel that you need more instructions, talk to the nurse or social workers. It’s their job to help.
  • Ask about future home care options and for follow-up training.
  • If you’re worried, tell the doctor you need more support.

The study shows that family caregivers are doing more than ever. And it’s safe to assume that many of them need help with this important work.

At Encompass, we have helped provide caregivers with training in medication administration, catheter care, eye drops, etc. Most family members can be trained to provide the majority of the care needed by a family member.

Of course, an important thing to consider is the possible guilt that a caregiver might feel when their aging loved one’s conditions worsens while they’re providing medical care. In the end, proper training and professional oversight are both very important, as well as the individual’s comfort level.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

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