First time with a caregiver? Here’s What to Expect

First time with a caregiver? Here’s What to Expect

July 31, 2023

Deciding on a Caregiver

As more and more older people are choosing to age in place, the challenge of caring for them often falls to younger relatives. If you are in that position, even if you are happy to be caring for your loved one, the chances are good that you will need some help. Being the primary caregiver for an aging loved one can be an overwhelming task at times, but it can also be hard to decide how to get the help you need. Your loved one may be resistant to having a new person in the house, and the idea might make you a little bit uncomfortable, as well. If you have made the decision to hire a caregiver, but you’re still feeling a little bit anxious, we can help fill you in on what to expect, to put your mind at ease. 

Your Caregiver is There to Help

Depending on your loved one’s needs, a caregiver can help in many different ways. 

  • Sometimes, older people need help with personal care. Your caregiver can help your loved one maintain good nutrition, as well as helping with basic tasks like bathing, dressing, and oral hygiene. If your loved one has mobility issues and needs help with transferring and positioning or toileting, the caregiver can help with that too. 
  • In many cases, companionship is one of the most important functions of a caregiver. Some older people just need someone to help them communicate with their family members, to share conversations and meals, and to participate with them in simple recreational activities like taking a walk or going on an outing. 
  • The caregiver can help around the house. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, organization, and helping with mail are all within the realm of caregiving. 
  • Often, families ask their caregivers to run errands. Caregivers can help with grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, taking the older person to church or on an outing, and transportation to medical appointments. 
  • A skilled caregiver can help with medical care. If your loved one needs help with managing or taking medication, or you need someone to monitor vitals, or help with physical therapy, safety measures, or other medically related tasks, hiring a skilled caregiver is the best option.

When you are your loved one’s primary caregiver, the bulk of these tasks falls to you. A caregiver can ease your workload by taking care of some of these jobs, and that will give you time to cross some other things off of your to-do list. You may need time to run errands, take care of your own health, get some sleep, tend to your family, or just take a break and have some fun with friends. A caregiver gives you the freedom to do what you need to do, so that you can be in a better position to care for your loved one when you come back. 

Choosing a Caregiver

As we touched on above, the level of care your loved one needs will inform the type of caregiver you require. A personal care aide (PCA) can help with things like companionship and light housekeeping. If your loved one needs help with medical care, you will need skilled nursing help. Some skilled caregivers are even trained in specialties like dementia care. Consider the extent of your care needs to determine how qualified your caregiver will need to be. Skilled nursing providers, also called licensed practical nurses (LVNs) meet federal standards for health and safety and can provide direct medical care. The tasks they can handle include administering IV medications, tube feedings, shots, and providing diabetes care, and, in some cases, various types of therapy. Registered nurses (RNs) hold a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing and can perform most medical procedures. 

Getting Settled with a Caregiver

Your caregiver’s first visit will start with a thorough assessment, before home care services begin, to help create a comprehensive care plan. This will include taking some time to get to know your loved one, checking vitals, and addressing any safety concerns or hazards in the home. Once a care plan has been established, the caregiver can get to work, providing the help you and your loved one need. The benefit of at home caregiving is that it takes place in the comfort of familiar surroundings, with attention given to the needs and wishes of the person in need of care, as well as the person’s family.

Choose Quality Care

We know that caring for someone all day every day can become overwhelming and stressful, and having some help can offer a welcome respite. That’s why at BrightStar Care of Chico, California, we work hard to deliver the right care for your loved one and to be a partner you can turn to for support. Because we believe that caring is more than just a job, our nurses, therapists, CNAs, and caregivers offer the most professional compassionate care available. In the comforting, familiar surroundings of home, we offer a full range of care services to meet your loved one’s needs and help you when you need it most. When you are looking for an agency with a reputation for high standards and excellence in caregiving and a team dedicated to providing high-quality care for your loved one, contact us or call 530-332-9699 to learn more about our services.