The Wellbeing Benefits of Hiring a Carer
By: Philippa Harrington, On: 08 January 2020
It can be hard to make the decision to hire a carer. In fact, many family members experience guilt when they take on a carer to look after a loved one – but there’s no reason to feel like you’re abandoning your responsibilities. On the contrary, carers can provide enormous benefits to the wellbeing of those they look after. Here are some of the reasons why a carer can have a positive impact on your loved one:
They can bring back a sense of independence
Getting older, or suffering from disability or illness, can rob you of your independence. It can be very frustrating to have to rely on family members for help, especially when it comes to tasks that you were once able to do with ease.
Without a carer, even the simplest of activities can involve consulting other people’s schedules and finding a time that suits them. Your loved one can feel that they are simply unable to live independently. When there’s a carer in the home, plans can be made without involving family members. Things don’t need to be scheduled far in advance – instead, they can happen spontaneously.
They bring the freedom to enjoy life again
If your loved one has been reliant on other people for a long time, it’s natural for their hobbies and interests to all but disappear. As time goes by, they may make fewer and fewer plans, and even abandon passions and interests. Often, this process is so gradual that they – and you – may not have noticed until it’s too late. Without the things that once kept them busy, your loved one may grow unhappy and even be at risk of developing depression.
A carer can help make it easier for your loved one to go back to the things that they used to enjoy. A favourite hobby might involve a trip out of the house, which alone would be impossible. However, with a carer, it’s quick and easy to do. Slowly, your loved one may return to old passions and even pick up new ones. With a carer comes a new lease of life.
They can help increase confidence
If your loved one feels like a burden, having a carer can help to reassure them that they’re not. This feeling can be very powerful. A carer provides vital support in a way that family members cannot. With training and experience behind them, carers know when to provide help and when to take a step back. In this way, they can help your loved one explore their boundaries – and, often, discover that they’re more capable than they realised.
Carers can take the necessary steps to help your loved one feel confident and in control once again. They can look over the home with fresh eyes, spotting areas that could be changed to create an environment that’s more suited to your loved one’s wellbeing and independence. All of this helps build confidence.
They take the strain off family relationships
One crucial factor in hiring a carer is that there is no pre-existing relationship. That’s essential because needing care can sometimes damage family connections. Your loved one may feel helpless, uncomfortable, and even that they are a burden on you. If it’s one of your parents that needs a carer, they may feel guilty or worried that they are not fulfilling their parental duties. They may also need help in areas that they perceive as embarrassing and personal.
The relationship between carer and cared-for person starts as purely professional. Although they often grow close over time, there’s still no extra baggage that comes from a family relationship. That means that your loved one won’t feel guilt or disappointment about needing assistance. Hiring a carer can help soothe tensions that may have developed, simplifying family relationships.
They provide companionship
Some people feel trapped by their disabilities or conditions. If it’s hard to leave the house, they can grow lonely and miserable. A carer is always there to provide a friendly face and a listening ear. If someone’s feeling low, then just having a carer nearby to offer support, companionship, and even just a sounding board, can make a huge difference.
Family members will, of course, try to be there for their loved ones – but we all have our limits. Careers, studies, and family commitments mean that it’s often impossible to be there twenty-four hours a day. For a carer, your loved one is a full-time job. Having a companion with them can cheer them up no end, leaving them happier – which, in turn, can inspire them to try new things and look for new sources of fulfilment in their life.