Looking after someone with a life-limiting or threatening condition is tough – there’s absolutely no doubt about that. Taking on the role of helping someone manage their condition is one that requires absolutely 100 per cent commitment, a huge amount of energy, lots of patience, compassion and a huge amount more. But, as many carers will attest, it’s one of the most rewarding professions out there.
Caring – Not Always For The Elderly
It’s often assumed – and wrongly so – that only the elderly require care. However, there is a huge selection of illnesses, ailments, and conditions that could leave a person unable to carry out some tasks without the assistance of a carer. This could range from people who’ve suffered acquired brain injuries (ABI) or spinal injuries, people living with multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy, as well as many other illnesses. And these people can be extremely young too.
Many of those responsible for delivering care do so for a loved one. Thousands step up to the mantel to take on that responsibility each year. Some give up their careers to devote themselves to spouses, and other close relatives. With this, they’ll take on all aspects, maybe with the help of other family members. However, caring is intense – especially when given every minute of every day.
This intensity can lead to fatigue and tiredness. Sadly, many carers feel as if they can’t take a break from their role – some for the feeling of guilt, others because the situation just won’t allow them to. There are options, though.
Home Care Support – What Is It?
For instance, in circumstances like these, it’s possible to get home care support. Unlike full live-in care, which involves a carer moving into the home on a full-time basis to provide care, home care support enables carers to continue in their day-to-day role.
With home care support, a professional carer will simply come in and complement the work of the existing carer. They could do this by supporting in a variety of different ways – from helping with the cooking and cleaning, sitting and talking with recipient of home care, or helping them to manage their medication. It really can take many forms. And, one of the most fantastic aspects is that it can be tailored to specific demands. If you’re a carer, you don’t have to feel like you can only get help with the most basic elements.
It can also help those receiving the care too. Remember, another friendly carer coming into the home is another source of companionship – another person to sit and have a warm chat with over a cup of tea.
Home care support is essentially there to help carers when they feel like they can no longer manage by themselves. Although some carers may hold off on speaking to a home care agency for a significant period of time, it’s important to speak up – don’t be too proud. Everyone needs help at various points in life – there’s certainly nothing for carers to feel ashamed about.
And, with it, you don’t have pass on the role you’ve taken on as carer – you can still continue to do what you’re doing without having that strain over you.
Louisa Jenkins is a Grimsby-based blogger. With her previous experience as a care advisor she writes about the benefits of home care support for carers.