If you're a senior taking care of your disabled spouse at home, you should get as much help as you can so you don't wear yourself down. Two of the most difficult parts of caregiving are bathing and transferring, especially if you don't have the strength to lift and position your spouse yourself. That's where home health caregivers can help. Here are some ways that bringing in a home health agency makes your life easier.
Helps With The Morning Routine
Your spouse will feel better when they're clean and well groomed. Otherwise, their scalp or skin may itch or feel uncomfortable. Bathing someone in a bed is difficult, especially if you have to roll a large or heavy person around. Doing a good job and drying the skin properly is important in order to prevent soreness and infections. You may find it best for both you and your spouse to bring in a caregiver each morning for bathing, grooming, and getting dressed.
Assists With Mobility
Trying to move your spouse from the bed to a chair can be tricky if you do it by yourself. You could strain your back if you bear too much of your spouse's weight. If you can't hold your spouse up, they could fall and hurt themselves. Once your spouse is on the floor, it may be impossible for you to lift them up by yourself. You can avoid these potentially dangerous outcomes by letting a caregiver transfer your spouse from the bed to a chair or wheelchair each morning and again at nap time or in the evening.
Feeds Your Spouse
Feeding a disabled person is often stressful if they have swallowing problems. You may feel uncomfortable feeding your spouse if it causes coughing and choking. People with swallowing problems often take a long time to complete meals, which could even be physically exhausting and time consuming for you. Having a caregiver help with one or two meals a day gives you a break and spares you the stress of worrying about making your spouse choke.
Gives You Freedom
If you don't have help with taking care of your spouse, you may become isolated and housebound since you can't leave your spouse alone. When a home health caregiver comes in for a few hours each day, that frees you to go shopping, exercise at a gym, or attend church or social gatherings. The social stimulation may ward off depression and help you deal with the stress of watching your spouse struggle with a disability or illness.
You may want to shoulder most of the responsibility for taking care of your spouse, so you can schedule home health visits for as often as you want them. You may want help temporarily when you're ill or you may need daily help so you aren't overwhelmed. An extra set of hands gives you some rest and it helps your spouse stay safer too.