Why Family Caregivers Are So Important to a Loved One’s Care
In speaking with family, we often reflect on how we grew up and the advice given to us by our parents or the main parental figure in our life. How they taught us to treat others and care for ourselves. From the practical like cooking meals and paying bills to character lessons that helped shape who we are. Every one of us has similar memories about loved ones who are aging and who may also live in a senior living community. These same loved ones who contributed to our upbringing also need us as they age.
Loved ones who live in an assisted living community receive the care and support they need from trained professional caregivers. As a family caregiver, it’s reassuring to know you have the support you need from those same caring, compassionate staff as well. When working together, family caregivers and professional caregivers often provide unparalleled support to a loved one as well as each other.
One area of support you’ve probably felt the benefit of is having help with the activities of daily living your love one needs. Additionally, having support and companionship during everyday care for your loved one takes a lot of the pressure off you. However, despite the great care they receive in an assisted living home, it is still especially important to be actively engaged and involved in your loved one’s life. Regularly connecting with our loved one in person, by video and by phone helps maintain a healthy bond.
If your loved one resides in a residential assisted living community for seniors with dementia, your continued involvement and support is also incredibly valuable. It’s important to know that your efforts are valued and appreciated by the staff who care for your loved one as well as your loved one.
So, what can you do to stay connected and support your loved one who lives in a residential care home. dementia care facility or assisted living community near you? Let’s discuss some ways you can remain an active caregiver, in addition the assisted living care your loved one receives.
Family Visits Impact Health
Did you know that all of your visits help improve your loved one’s lifespan and overall happiness? Residents who have family members who are more active in their lives often live longer, including those who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many studies support this claim, as people with robust family support often live longer and are happier than their peers. In fact, those with more active family members usually have stronger immune systems too. Research indicates that more support and contact from family members can even enhance brain function.
Although mental health problems, like depression, is possible for those in assisted living facilities with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this can be curbed. Residents who feel connected and important to their families have a reduced risk of developing depression, because family visits, even if they aren’t remembered, help make their day better.
Family Visits Make a Difference
Some of the common problems that arise in assisted living communities may be different from what you expect, as they are often very simple. Keep an open line of communication with your loved one’s caregiver to learn about the aspects of their care you can help with. The positive effects family caregivers can provide are essential to their wellbeing.
Although their everyday needs like bathing, dressing, medication, and meals are managed by their professional caregivers, you will always be welcomed to help in many other aspects of their care. Talk to the staff of your loved one’s community and ask how you can best help support your loved one during your visits.
Family Visits Provide Emotional Support
One of the many advantages of family caregivers is their contribution towards emotional support. Put yourself in their shoes managing the aging process with its physical limitations as well as managing an illness or living with dementia can be terrifying and difficult to accept. They may feel as though they are powerless or lost but having close people available to discuss how they’re feeling can be a tremendous help. Just a few comforting words or compassionate acts can make them feel more secure.
The contributions of a family member’s care are invaluable to a person’s quality of life, even with the help of an assisted living care home. With a little physical and emotional support, you can have a profound and positive impact on your loved one’s wellbeing. Despite all these new adjustments, it is important to remember nothing can ever replace the love and support of family.