When a loved one needs care, there are two paths family members can take: Professional caregiving or a family caregiver.
Each option has its own unique set of challenges and rewards. And both play a pivotal role in the lives of those who need assistance.
Today, we’ll delve into the contrasting dynamics, responsibilities, and emotional landscapes of each role. We’ll also discuss how to determine which option is best. Or whether a collaboration between the two is ideal or even possible.
What Is Professional Caregiving from Homewatch CareGivers?
Like family caregivers, professional caregivers help those who need assistance. This can include those who:
Have special needs
Have just gotten out of the hospital
Some caregivers even help parents care for children with illnesses and special needs.
Professional caregivers are hired through a company like Homewatch CareGivers. Their goal is to assist others through difficult transitions and/or to help them live independently if possible.
At Homewatch CareGivers, our team of in-home caregivers has years of experience. Their expertise is matched with the needs of those they serve. We pride ourselves on offering customized care for each individual. To do that, we offer the following services:
Our caregivers have the training and expertise to help with medications, blood pressure checks, physical therapy, bathing, and more.
Understanding Family Caregiving Support
Family caregivers are family members who are willing to take the time to care for those in need. They might care for a child, parent, grandparent, or extended family member.
These types of caregivers often don’t have specialized training like professional caregivers. They may do a bit of research or get insight from healthcare professionals. But that’s the extent of their training.
Despite having limited training, family caregivers provide support:
They help around the house with cooking, cleaning, and running errands. They provide personal care, like assistance with bathing and going to the bathroom.
Most family caregivers are volunteers. They help their ill, elderly, or disabled loved ones without pay. Care can range from short- to long-term, intermittent to daily care.
The Contrasting Dynamics and Responsibilities of Professional and Family Caregiving
Skilled caregivers know how to more comprehensive care services. They aren’t licensed medical professionals, so they don’t prescribe medication or perform medical procedures.. Still, they can learn practical skills from doctors and hospital nurses, such as wound dressing.
Registered nurses and some home health aides have the experience and training to take vital signs and other information that your medical team can use to customize care. They’re also trained to observe the mental and physical condition of those in their care.
Another difference between professional and family caregivers is that professionals have seen it all. Therefore, they’re often more comfortable with things like:
Sometimes, family members are so uncomfortable with these duties that they refuse to do them. In-home caregivers are trained to assist with these things and have years of experience doing so. They offer assistance in a way that is discreet and respectful, treating those in their care with dignity.
Are There Any Similarities Between Family and Career Caregivers?
Despite the differences between professional and family caregivers, the mission is the same.
Anyone who takes on the role of caregiver cares deeply for others. They have a lot of empathy, kindness, and compassion. They’re dedicated to helping others and often serve those in their care dutifully for years.
The Emotional Landscape: The Love and Dedication That Goes into Caregiving
Whether someone is a professional or not, being a caregiver requires love and dedication. They take pride in caring for another human being, in being of service to someone in need.
Not everyone can be a caregiver, professionally or otherwise. To do the job well, the caregiver needs to be able to deal with things that aren’t always easy. But their love, dedication, and compassion for others move them to stick with their work.
All Caregivers Require Self-Care and Support
As rewarding as caregiving can be, it’s also a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding job. Even those with the skills and training to offer care professionally can burn out from the work.
Caregivers need to ask for and be open to receiving support to ensure they remain healthy and happy. Setting boundaries and asking for support in their personal and professional life is necessary. (In fact, in 2019, Harvard Business School published an article pleading with employers to support employees who are caregivers.)
Caregivers who get support and take care of themselves are better able to help others. A recent study found that reducing the burden of care for the caregiver benefitted stroke survivors during their recovery.
Asking for help – including respite care for family caregivers – is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign you need a break. It’s a sign you recognize getting some help will allow you the energy and fortitude needed to serve others.
Uniting Forces: How Collaboration Enhances Care
Often, the best way to serve those who need help is to combine personal and professional care. A collaboration between family caregivers and professional caregivers can:
Provide care recipients with the specialized assistance they need
Give family caregivers time to rest and recharge
Caring for your loved ones doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to be the sole carer, nor do you need to hire a full-time professional caregiver. You can strike a balance between the two. Offer care as you can while simultaneously getting the professional assistance your loved one needs.
The Power of Combined Efforts: How Caregiving Collaborations Enhance Care
When it comes to caring for someone, family members and professional caregivers both play vital roles. Collaboration between the two combines the unique strengths of each, creating a holistic care environment. Such an environment enhances the well-being and quality of life of care recipients. Together, their efforts can transform lives and provide comfort and dignity to those who need care.
Ready to make a difference? Join the Homewatch CareGivers team. Schedule an interview today!