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The Important and Sometimes Overlooked Role of the Caregiver

November is National Caregivers Month. It is a time to celebrate and appreciate the millions of people who unselfishly give of themselves to help others maintain their independence and maximize quality of life. Caregivers include unpaid family members and neighbors who lend a helping hand to those in need. They are also home health care professionals, social workers, nurses and certified nursing aides working in retirement communities and nursing homes.

“Caregivers provide physical support, as well as emotional, financial and spiritual support,” said Charles Puchta, senior care expert and author of The Caregiver Resource Guide. “In addition to performing daily tasks, such as helping with transportation, grocery shopping, housekeeping and preparing meals, caregivers serve in many common roles that are often overlooked.” These include:

  • Advisor – Offering recommendations to help a loved one identify potential challenges, talking about concerns, and considering alternatives that may help to maximize his or her independence and quality of life.
  • Advocate – Looking out for a loved one’s best interests as an authorized agent (e.g. Power of Attorney), as a concerned family member, or caregiver. Helping to ensure the person you serve gets the information, care, support and treatment he or she needs and deserves.
  • Coordinator – Arranging for services (e.g. professional caregiving, physical therapy, lawn mowing/snow removal, heating/air conditioning repair), scheduling appointments and coordinating deliveries.
  • Evaluator – Assessing a loved one’s ability to live independently, handle his or her own personal care, manage medications, operate a motor vehicle and more. Also, identifying and evaluating appropriate programs and services to best match a person’s needs and wishes.
  • Mediator – Helping family members and others communicate, make decisions and resolve issues in a positive and helpful manner.
  • Protector – Stepping in and taking charge when necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of a loved one.
  • Provider – Providing assistance when a loved one is not able to care for him or herself due to physical or cognitive limitations.

Assistance often addresses the following type of needs:

  • Emotional – Listening and responding to concerns, providing encouragement and moral support, maintaining contact and simply being there for someone.
  • Financial – Organizing bills, writing checks, balancing the checkbook, and providing money to help cover expenses.
  • Physical – Assisting with activities of daily living including personal care, household chores, meals, driving, medication reminders, etc.
  • Spiritual – Helping people find meaning and purpose in life, maintaining hope, coping, and finding peace through prayer, meditation, and cultural and religious preferences.

While an estimated three in every four families provide care for family members, approximately 25% of families rely on home care agencies like Home Helpers for caregiving services. Many families, due to family, work and community responsibilities, or distance from their loved one’s home, may not be able to meet his or her care needs. Some people simply do not have the flexibility to modify work schedules or forego work-related travel. When parents live in a different city than their adult children, professional caregiving services may be the only option for people who wish to remain in their home and receive the care and support they need and deserve. Care provided in the comfort of a person’s home is an affordable, flexible option that offers a viable option to loved ones needing care.

Home Helpers is a home care agency that features its exclusive Care Check System to ensure the most thorough background checks and clearance. To learn how we can help you with your loved one’s needs, including complete in-home care with a full range of flexible services, call (877) 464-9090 or contact us online.

About Home Helpers®
Home Helpers is the premier provider of in-home, non-medical and personal care and companionship for seniors, people coping with a lifelong illness or disability, and those recuperating from a recent surgery or hospitalization. Home Helpers is an agency, not a registry. We employ caregivers who are thoroughly screened using our exclusive Care Check System™. By utilizing our Client & Caregiver Matching System™, we ensure the best caregiver selection. We are committed to the delivery of a positive home care experience for your family.

We don’t just take care of our clients, we plan for them, using our comprehensive and customized Home Helpers Total Care Plan™. Home Helpers is proactive, not reactive, and offers a flexible, affordable continuum of care that changes as our clients’ needs change. We tailor our care plans to our clients’ unique needs and tap our extensive network of referral resources relevant to every aspect of care.

From occasional visits to respite to hospice care, the team at Home Helpers is with you every step of the way, providing guidance, reassurance and compassionate care always.

To learn how we can put together a Total Care Plan™, including helping with a continuum of care plan for you or your loved one, call us at (877) 464-9090 or learn more online.


“Phyllis has been taking care of my father for the past couple months and I wanted to pass along how well she's been doing. Each time I talk with my Dad, he tells me how much he appreciates having the same person come now and how well she's taking care of his place. By having a reliable person come and take care of my Dad, it takes the stress off our family and we all really appreciate it.”

Kathy S.
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