Should I hire a caregiver or take on the responsibilities myself?
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UPDATED: Nov 3, 2021
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At one point in our lives, we may be put in the position where we have to either become a caregiver for our loved ones or choose to hire a caregiver. It’s one of the harder decisions that can leave us feeling sad, angry, and powerless. In light of this decision, we’ve created this short guide to help you decide if you should become a caregiver or hire a professional caregiver. Before getting to the signs, it’s important to remember that caregiving is hard work.
You are taking care of yourself as well as someone else. Your loved one may have health complications requiring them to need special attention and care.
Caregiving is one of the most selfless roles to take on and can require a lot of responsibility and duties.
Signs You Should Become a Caregiver
You may be torn between thinking you can handle caregiving and wondering if it will be too overwhelming for you. It is human nature to want to care for the people we love. Here are some things to consider about yourself and your situation if you think caregiving for your loved one is your best option.
- You have a lot of free time, and your schedule is flexible – Becoming a caregiver often requires you to modify your daily schedule. This means moving around your work schedule and possibly reducing some of your personal time.
- Your loved one’s insurance will cover any expenses, such as specialized equipment and the time you spend caregiving – Depending on your loved one’s condition, you may have to purchase special tools or aids to assist in their quality of life. Not only that, but their condition may require a full-time caregiver. Check with your loved one’s insurance to see if they’ll cover the expenses.
- You can easily learn new things – There is a learning curve when it comes to being a caregiver. You’ll have to learn new skills and ways of doing things (such as picking out life insurance). If you have no issues doing so, then caregiving may be a role worth taking on.
- You have cared for someone in the past – Having experience is always a plus. If you have previously cared for children or grandparents, you’ll have an idea if you can handle all of the responsibilities and lifestyle that comes with a caregiver role.
- You’re mentally stable – Caregiving can take a mental toll on anyone. It is a lot to handle. If you consider yourself mentally healthy, then you may be able to easily transition into the role.
- You’re physically healthy and capable – Some caregiver roles require a lot of physical lifting to help your loved one perform daily tasks. If you’re physically fit and can comfortably lift extra weight, then you could be suitable for the role.
- You have a support system to help – If you have a person or persons to help out, then caregiving is very doable. Some families divide up caregiver roles and responsibilities to make things easier on each other.
Have you decided to become a caregiver? Read our 2020 Ultimate Guide to Caregiving where we’ll give you all the resources needed to be the best caregiver possible.
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Signs You Should Hire a Caregiver
You may not want to hand over the responsibility to another person you don’t know. Sometimes caregiving is too difficult of a task for people in certain situations. If you fit any of these categories, hiring someone professionally could be the route you need to take.
- You don’t live near or can’t relocate your loved one’s home – If your loved one needs a lot of care and attention, then it’s best to hire someone local who can be there on a daily basis. Not only that but if an emergency arises, it’s always best to have someone that can act immediately.
- Your career takes up a lot of your time – A caregiver role does require time. If your job takes up a lot of time and isn’t flexible, then it’s wise to hire someone else. If your daily activities consist of just work and caregiving, you also run the risk of becoming burnt out.
- You or your loved one has the extra funds to do so – If you’re financially capable, it may be easier to hire a professional. They’ll know what to do and how to handle your loved one’s particular needs. This prevents the chances of anything terrible happening as you continue to learn how to be a caregiver.
- You aren’t organized – Caregiving is not a role for those that are not organized. You have to be able to prioritize tasks, manage calendars and medical records, and make sure your loved one is adequately taken care of. And you have to do all of this while also making sure you’re taking care of yourself.
- You aren’t physically healthy or capable – Caregiving can require a lot out of your body. If your loved one isn’t mobile and needs help daily, then it’s best to hire someone who can do the physical work.
Make the Best Decision for Care of Your Loved One
When making this decision, do what’s best for your loved one. It’s common to feel guilty for hiring a caregiver, and it can sometimes feel like you’re abandoning them or taking the easy road.
But if you take the time to hire the right person, then your loved one may see a higher quality of life than you could ever give them. If you can’t handle caregiving and you feel guilty, that doesn’t mean you should take on the role. Becoming a caregiver purely out of guilt can do more harm than good.
Brandon Landgraf is a digital marketing manager and content creator for Carex Health Brands, a health and wellness brand whose mission is to improve the lives of others. He enjoys writing content that empowers others to live better, be healthier, and lead happier lifestyles.