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Missy Thomas: Caregiving: When to call for help

In the past 15 years the number of caregivers has tripled to more than 10 million people, over the age of 50. Most of us would like to continue providing care in our own homes for as long as possible.

At some point, your loved one may need to make the move into a facility that offers around-the-clock medical care, however, if that time has NOT yet come, there are other support options for caregivers.

 The question remains: “When do I need to call for help?”

Whether you are caring for your spouse in your own home or are a long-distance caregiver for an elderly parent, it’s important to seek support early on, before you are at your breaking point and can no longer provide the level of care needed.

 Here are a few signs from ElderCarelink that may suggest it’s time to bring in a non-medical home care aide:

 1. Personal appearance is declining. Your loved one is wearing dirty clothes or hasn’t bathed in a while.

 2. Unkempt house and empty refrigerator. Your loved one’s home is full of dirty dishes or devoid of food.

 3. Eating, dressing, transferring assistance. Your loved one needs more help with daily activities than you’re able to provide.

 4. Recovery from a recent illness or surgery. Many elders need assistance around the house while recovering from surgery such as a knee replacement.

 Whether you are a full-time caregiver looking for assistance or are in a position where you cannot become a full-time caregiver, in-home Respite Care is one solution for getting your loved one the help he/she needs to stay healthy and independent. Northwoods Caregivers’ Respite Providers are, at minimum, Certified Nursing Assistants and are qualified to provide excellent care for your loved one, so you can get a much-needed, well-deserved break.

For more information on Respite Care (or other services) provided thru Northwoods Caregivers, Caregiver Coaching or the Caregiver Support Group, please contact Carol: 218-333-8265

MISSY THOMAS is the Director of Care Services.