Live-in care refers to a type of elderly care where the carer lives with the senior in their own home. It is a highly recommended model of senior care because it ensures 24/7, one-to-one support for the elderly and peace of mind for their family members. But how does introducing a live-in carer affect family relationships and dynamics?
With the ever-increasing demand for live-in carers, this question looms large in the minds of both seniors and their families. Understanding the impact of having a live-in carer in your home is crucial because it is the first step towards navigating the changes positively. However, before we get into that, let’s have a look at some of the duties of a carer providing support for a senior in their home.
The Roles of a Live-in Carer
The duties of a live-in carer will often vary based on the specific needs of the senior under their care. For instance, if the senior has mobility issues, the carer’s responsibilities will include helping them move around the home. Similarly, if the senior has health issues, carers are tasked with medication management and scheduling medical appointments.
Although the duties vary from one home to another, there are a few common responsibilities that carers perform while providing elderly care. They include:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Medication management
- Personal care
- Home management
- Mobility and exercise assistance
The responsibilities of a caregiver are often outlined in the care plan (developed in collaboration with senior, caregiver and family). However, these duties of a carer will require regular adjustments as the needs of the senior evolve. So the elderly care plans and list of responsibilities require a degree of flexibility.
When caring for the elderly at home, the responsibilities of a caregiver can both complement and contrast the roles traditionally held by the family members. The extent of these changes will often depend on various factors, including the specific needs of the senior and the level of involvement of the senior’s family.
Having a caregiver around will ease the pressure on the family members, ensuring the senior gets support from a skilled and experienced caregiver. As the carer takes up the primary responsibility of caring for the elderly, they free up the family members to focus on the emotional and companionship end of elderly support. It also gives them more flexibility in their schedules, helping them maintain a healthier work-life balance.
Although a live-in carer is a skilled expert in caregiving, they often maintain a professional relationship with the senior, which results in a certain level of emotional distance. With family members, the expertise in elderly care might not be available; however, they share a deeper connection with the senior, adding a unique emotional experience to caregiving.
There are also financial considerations when it comes to hiring a live-in caregiver. Live in carer cost is one of the main reasons people opt for family caregiving. The family can save on professional live in carer costs, but might have to deal with the emotional and physical toll of being a carer for a family member.
Introducing a Live-in Carer: The Impact on Family Relationships
Besides the redistribution of responsibilities, introducing a live-in carer can have profound effects on family relationships.
We can divide the impact into two primary categories:
- Emotional adjustments – Both the seniors and their family members have to make emotional adjustments when they start living with a live in carer. These changes often come as a result of sharing of responsibilities and personal spaces. Seniors and family may experience a mix of emotions, ranging from apprehension to acceptance and relief as the carer assumes their responsibilities.
- Relationship dynamics – Introducing a live-in caregiver can have a significant influence on the relationship between family members, both by easing tensions and creating new family dynamics. For instance, once the caregiver assumes their roles, they alleviate the tension related to the distribution of caregiving responsibilities among family members. That creates new relationship dynamics because it eliminates caregiving strain, freeing up the family members to focus more on building emotional connections with each other.
When navigating the complexities of introducing a caregiver to the family, it is essential to maintain healthy family relationships and foster open communication among the family members, seniors and caregivers. A healthy relationship will contribute significantly to the quality of care and the overall well-being of all parties involved. But how do you maintain such a relationship?
Some of the best ways to maintain a healthy relationship between seniors, family members and caregivers include open communication, scheduling regular family meetings, setting clear boundaries and cultivating a supportive environment. Contact Veritas Care today for more information on how to positively navigate the changes of introducing a caregiver into the family.