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  • Writer's pictureAmy Kalajian

Getting in-home caregiving vs caring for your parents yourself

By 2030, it is expected that one out of every four Californians will be an older adult, according to the Master Plan for Aging. This demographic shift, alongside the needs of a diversifying aging population, necessitates proactive measures from Californians to guarantee that the elderly receive the necessary support to thrive. Many people wish to stay independent and live in their homes and communities as they get older. To make this possible, they will need access to good healthcare and support from the community.


According to the Master Plan for Aging, by 2030, one in every four Californians is anticipated to be an older adult. This significant change in demographics, combined with the evolving needs of an increasingly diverse elderly population, calls for immediate action by Californians to ensure that seniors have the support they need to flourish. A large number of individuals desire to remain independent, continuing to live in their own homes and communities as they age. Achieving this will necessitate access to quality healthcare and community support.

This means more people now have to decide how to provide care for their parents: either by taking care of them personally or by hiring a professional caregiving service.

Taking care of elderly parents can be tough on your emotions. You might feel sad seeing them struggle with things they used to do easily, yet also thankful that you can help. 

My 25 years of experience in the home health care industry have taught me that this emotional journey complicates the decision-making process. It's challenging to determine whether you have the capacity to devote the necessary time and emotional energy for caregiving or if investing in professional in-home care services is the more suitable option.


This article is designed to assist you in making this choice by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of both taking care of your parents yourself and opting for in-home caregiving services.


Understanding In-Home Caregiving Services


In-home caregiving refers to a range of services provided in the home to individuals who need support with various activities of daily living, helping them to maintain their independence and quality of life. These services can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, ranging from basic assistance with everyday tasks to more specialized medical care. The types of in-home care include:

Non-medical care

Medical care

Provided by healthcare professionals, this type of care includes medical monitoring, wound care, injections, physical therapy, and other health-related services.

Part-time care

This care is provided on an as-needed basis, ranging from a few hours a day to a few days a week, offering flexibility based on the care recipient's needs.

Full-time care

Offers comprehensive support round-the-clock, ensuring constant assistance and supervision.


Pros of In-Home Caregiving


Professional Care


In-home caregiving is delivered by skilled professionals who are trained to provide high-quality care, ensuring that the individual's health and well-being are adequately managed.


Convenience


Receiving care at home eliminates the need for disruptive moves to assisted living facilities, allowing individuals to stay in the comfort of their own homes.


Personalized Care


Care plans are customized to meet the specific needs of each individual, taking into account their preferences, routines, and medical requirements, thereby offering a more personalized care experience.


Cons of In-Home Caregiving


Cost


Depending on the level and duration of care required, in-home caregiving can be expensive, posing a significant financial burden for many families.


Emotional Distance


Relying on professionals for caregiving can create an emotional distance, as the care recipient may miss the personal touch and emotional connection that comes from being cared for by family members.


Dependence on External Providers


There can be concerns about the reliability and consistency of care, especially when dealing with multiple caregivers or changes in staffing from the service provider.



pros and cons of in-home caregiving


The Emotional and Practical Aspects of Personal Caregiving

Choosing to provide care for an aging parent yourself is a decision deeply rooted in the emotional bond and personal commitment to their well-being. This path requires a significant amount of your time and effort, potentially necessitating adjustments in how you balance your work and personal life. Indeed, this decision stems from a place of love and commitment, offering a level of personal care that can substantially enhance your parent's quality of life.


Embracing the role of a caregiver means being ready for unexpected challenges and committing to hard work. As the primary support provider, you will be responsible for a range of tasks, from ensuring your parents attend medical appointments to assisting with daily living activities such as meal preparation, bathing, grooming, dressing, and transportation. Research by Freedman and Spillman (2014) highlights the intensity of this commitment, showing that an older adult with three or more self-care or mobility needs requires an average of 253 hours of assistance per month. This is equivalent to nearly two full-time jobs, underscoring the immense time and dedication involved in personal caregiving.


Pros of Personal Caregiving


Emotional Satisfaction


The deep fulfillment that comes from personally caring for a loved one is irreplaceable. This emotional connection reinforces the bond and can provide significant personal gratification.


Cost-Effectiveness


By opting to care for your parent yourself, you can avoid the high costs associated with professional in-home care services, making it a financially practical option for some families.


Greater Control


Direct involvement in the caregiving process allows you to tailor the care specifically to your parent's needs and preferences, ensuring they receive the best possible support.



Research by Freedman and Spillman (2014) highlights the intensity of this commitment, showing that an older adult with three or more self-care or mobility needs requires an average of 253 hours of assistance per month


Cons of Personal Caregiving


Physical and Emotional Toll


The continuous nature of caregiving can lead to significant stress, burnout, and a toll on your physical and mental health. Balancing caregiving with personal life demands can be particularly draining.


Lack of Professional Knowledge


Addressing complex health needs without professional training can be a daunting challenge, potentially affecting the quality of care provided.


Impact on Personal Life


The intensive commitment can strain personal time and relationships, sometimes leading to resentment from other family members due to the caregiver's divided attention.

Deciding to take care of your elderly parents by yourself is worth it but not as easy as it might seem. It's important to think about your finances, your ability to provide care, and whether your family can support you. While it can be tough, many people find it fulfilling. Keep in mind, it's important to remember to take breaks and accept any help you can get.



pros and cons of caring for your parents yourself

Making an Informed Decision


As you consider the best path forward, remember that you're not alone. The Remedy Cares team is ready to assist you with detailed information, support, and compassionate guidance. Our mission is to ensure that every family in Los Angeles has access to the quality care their loved ones deserve, without compromise.


Call us now at 800-554-8575 to speak with a Remedy Cares specialist. Let us help you navigate the decision-making process, discuss costs, and explore the benefits of in-home caregiving, tailored to your unique situation. Together, we can find the right solution to support your parent's independence and well-being, ensuring they receive the best possible care in the comfort of their home.

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