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Is it Time to Hire Caring Help for Mom or Dad? - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Is it Time to Hire Caring Help for Mom or Dad?

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When a loved one needs help just a few hours a week – with grocery shopping, cooking and laundry, for example – it can be fairly easy for family members to lend a hand. But what happens when mom or dad develops a chronic illness and needs constant care for 12 or more hours a day? Or constant care, day and night?

“Families need to understand how many family members are available to help and how many hours they'll be needed,” says David Ritterling, owner of Visiting Angels home care agency in Pueblo, Colorado, which provides private, in-home living assistance to seniors. From there, family can decide if they are able to shoulder all caregiving duties or if they may need to consider hiring a caregiver agency to either augment the care or do the job full-time.

Ritterling offers the following insights for deciding who will take care of your loved ones:

1. Think ahead. Check out home health agencies in your area in advance. Scrambling for help when a health crisis hits may not give you enough time to find the right person for your loved one's care.

2. Plan realistically. Be aware that family members who take on full-time caregiving duties can pay a heavy price. They may have to give up their jobs or miss work often. Statistics show that family caregivers often suffer serious health issues of their own. Augmenting care with a home health worker gives relief to the family member and time for him or her to maintain a more balanced life.

3. Don't take on too much. If family takes care of mom and dad, do they have time to get them to appointments? To help them bathe and get dressed? Prepare three meals a day? If there's only one family member available, they can't always support the care needs of loved ones.

4. Think 24/7. Family members can't always take time away from their own spouses, children or other responsibilities to handle overnight care of loved ones. That's where augmenting care with an agency can ease the stress of caregiving.

5. Professionals can help. Professional caregivers are trained to see issues that may need to be reported to medical professionals. They can catch things early, before a trip to the hospital is necessary. Caregivers from reputable, bonded agencies such as Visiting Angels are also trained to help seniors move around safely in order to avoid falls, which are the number one cause of death in seniors.

6. Care takes teamwork. A care agency will put together a team to take care of your loved one. If one member of the team is ill or for some reason can't be there, another will take the person's place. Family may not have the flexibility to do that.

The best care for your loved one takes into honest consideration what your family's schedule allows and what's best for both you and your loved ones, says Ritterling. When your needs change, professional caregivers can adjust. “Visiting Angels can help manage cases and take the burden off family by augmenting care with professional staff, all the way through end of life.”

If you take on caregiving for a loved one, be sure to take care of yourself, too – physically, emotionally and socially.

Visiting Angels, one of the largest, non-medical home care agencies in the country, with 500 franchise locations, was recently awarded the 2015 Best of Home Care Leader in Excellence Award. Angels provide help with activities of daily living, including bathing and dressing, personal care, light housekeeping, cooking and transportation.

David Ritterling is owner of the Visiting Angels franchise in Pueblo and vice president of franchise development. To reach Visiting Angels in southern Colorado, contact the Pueblo office, (719) 543-4220, or Colorado Springs office, (719) 282-0180, or visit www.visitingangels.com

This article was produced for and sponsored by Visiting Angels, with offices in Colorado
Springs and Pueblo, Colo. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.



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