An Extra Pair of Hands May Mean Easier Days

You count to 10. You pray. You say any and all affirmations those 14 books you’ve bought tell you will work.

But, nothing’s working. You and your care recipient are at odds. And, the odd-makers seem to be betting against you. Caregiving is getting the best of you.

It might be time to look for more help and help from a home health agency may be just the ticket. We’ve come up with reasons to use outside help:

–when you take your care recipient to physician appointments. Wouldn’t it be nice to drop off your care recipient at the front door of the medical building so the home health aide can assist him or her inside? Just think, no more slooooow walks from the parking lot, no more maneuvering a wheelchair through a door that doesn’t (but should) automatically open.

–when your care recipient’s physician changes the care regime. For instance, your mother’s physician wants her to forgo the incontinence pads for a few days so that a rash can heal. You know how tough getting your mother to the bathroom is. This is a great time to get some help.

–when your care recipient moves into a period of difficult behavior. Sometimes a new face and a different voice can work wonders in calming your care recipient.

–when your care recipient is recovering from the flu or a cold. Rather than wearing yourself out trying to do everything, enlist the help of a home health aide until your care recipient feels better.

–when your laundry seems to control your life. Just one day without laundering soiled sheets. Wouldn’t that be nice?

–when your sister wants to go out for coffee to complain about her youngest daughter; it’s so great to hear about someone else’s problem for a change.

–when your care recipient suffers from cabin fever. A young face visiting three times a week for a few weeks to help with personal care and housekeeping may put the spark back into him or her.

–when you’re working overtime during your company’s busy time. With a home health aide in the evening, you can work late without worrying (too much).

–when you’re expecting company for special events or holidays. An extra pair of hands may take the air out of your elevated anxiety level.


To find a home health agency in your area:

1. Call the ElderCare Locator at 1-800-677-1116; you’ll be referred to your local Area Agency on Aging, which can tell you about local home care agencies.

2. The National Private Duty Association consists of home care agencies throughout the country. To find a member in your area, visit the association’s web site at

3. National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers information about using home care agencies and an agency locator.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

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