August 1st, 2018 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Live-In Caregiver Duties and Responsibilities

Dear Allegra,

My sister recently had surgery on her shoulder and will soon be discharged from the hospital. She has early-stage Alzheimer’s and the change of environment during her hospital stay has been very difficult.

I’m planning on staying with her for a week or 2 while she gets back on her feet, but the hospital social worker also recommended we consider a live in caregiver.

Before the surgery, my sister seemed to be doing okay on her own despite her disease. While I knew she would likely need around-the-clock care at some point, I’m not sure she needs it now. Can you help me understand what a live-in caregiver does?

Michael

What Is a Live-In Caregiver?

Dear Michael,

Great question! It can mean a variety of different things depending on a family’s unique situation.

In your sister’s case, the social worker might think the time for 24-hour care has arrived because of your sister’s Alzheimer’s disease. The decline you saw in the hospital might improve once your sister is back in her own familiar environment. If she doesn’t improve, it’s important to have extra support since you can’t be “on-call” around the clock. Caregivers need sleep too!

Live-in caregivers from a home care agency can be utilized after a senior is discharged from the hospital following an injury, surgery, or illness. The social worker might think your sister needs a helping hand on a short-term basis while she recovers from her shoulder surgery.

This type of care is also used when an elderly spouse or other family member isn’t able to meet their loved one’s care needs or when the senior lives alone. A live-in caregiver can fill that gap. This is especially true during the overnight hours when family caregivers need to sleep.

24-hour, live-in care is an option for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Having an in-house caregiver can help keep the senior safe. A caregiver will be there around the clock to help with the client’s physical needs (bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom) and make sure they don’t wander away from home.

A few tasks in-home caregivers frequently assist with include:

  • Medication reminders
  • Personal care and grooming
  • Toileting assistance and continence care
  • Transportation to and from appointments
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Socializing and life enrichment activities

Home care agencies work with the patient and their family to determine the best arrangement and to create an individual plan of care. It might be that a caregiver stays in your sister’s home just during the overnight hours while you help her readjust and then 24/7 after you leave.

My suggestion would be to call the Griswold Home Care office nearest you to schedule a meeting to learn more about live-in caregivers and how they can protect your sister’s safety and independence.

Kind regards,

Allegra