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Preparing to Care for Aging Loved Ones

By Mary Donohue, R.N.

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There are many joys families experience within the relationships they have with senior relatives. Grandma and Grandpa are often able to tell the best tales of times past. The memories they impart during family get-togethers, along with valuable family history seniors recount, become the ties that bind many families together.
Along with the joys seniors bring to our lives come hard decisions that may eventually need to be made regarding their ability to live alone. Some seniors suffer mental or physical limitations that make it difficult for them to safely care for themselves. In these instances, family members find themselves in the position of deciding who can provide the best care for their loved ones.
There are two types of caregiving scenarios to consider – choosing a willing family member to provide care or hiring a home care company to deliver caregiving service for seniors. Deciding to become a family caregiver can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Family caregivers often find their relationships with their senior loved ones enriched and satisfying beyond words. Even so, becoming a family caregiver can have a negative impact in some ways, as well. Many family caregivers experience financial difficulties, others become susceptible to depression due to the physical and emotional impact caregiving can have. Careful consideration of all parties involved should be taken before a family member takes on a caregiving role.
An alternative to family caregiving is to hire a professional and experienced agency to provide care and support. Home care agencies focus on serving the senior population with services such as personal care, transportation, housekeeping and daily companionship for those who need close monitoring.
Deciding a loved one’s needs can be a daunting experience. Keep in mind the best fit for a loved one’s needs and safe environment is essential for success. The end result should make everyone happy and provide peace of mind for all involved.

Mary Donohue is the Owner of Comfort Keepers, Pittsburgh, South & East Office.
For more information, call (412) 653-6100 or visit the website
www.comfortkeepers.com/southpittsburgh-pa

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