5 Reasons Friends and Family Make Great Caregivers

Are you in a position where you need some help with things in your daily life? You might need help bathing, getting groceries, doing your laundry, or cooking meals. It might be time to hire a caregiver, but before you go through a random agency, consider hiring someone you know.

  1. Your loved one can get paid to help you

People care for their friends and family all the time, but they often need to take time off work to make it happen. The good news is that with programs like FreedomCare, your loved one can get paid to care for you. If you’re eligible for this type of program, you can sign up to have someone you know provide in-home care and they’ll receive pay for their time.

When someone you know acts as your caregiver and they get paid, they won’t need to sacrifice their income. Getting paid might even make it possible for them to help you for more than just a couple of hours.

  1. They can help on a whim

If you ever need help immediately, you’ll have an easier time getting it from a friend or family member. For instance, if you run out of your favorite snack and your shopping day isn’t for another three days, a friend will be more likely to bring that snack by your house with no notice.

The same goes for getting help with more pressing things, like laundry. Say you soil some clothes and need them washed immediately. If your caregiver isn’t scheduled until the next day, they probably won’t be able to swing by that night. However, a friend or family member might, especially if they live close.

  1. It’s nice getting care from a familiar face

Some types of care feel better coming from a familiar person in your life. For example, you’ll probably feel better getting help in the shower from someone you already know. It’s also nice to have an existing relationship with someone when they’re preparing your meals or helping with chores around the house.

Although it’s usually more comfortable, there’s nothing preventing you from making new friends with caregivers you’ve just met. Many people who go into the care profession do it because they love helping other people and are extremely personable. You may even find someone you can laugh with and enjoy each other’s company.

  1. They’ll know your history

Explaining your medical history, the nuances of your condition, and your preferences to someone new can be a challenge. It’s going to take time to teach someone new how to care for you, and it may require other people’s input as well.

On the other hand, when you get care from someone who already knows you, they’ll have a good idea of what you need, what you like, and what doesn’t work for you. For instance, you might not like something as simple as air freshener spray or you might prefer your morning coffee in a special mug. Someone new will need to learn all of these details and it’s just easier when there’s less information to teach.

  1. They’ll know your house rules

Just because you need help doesn’t mean you’re going to abandon your house rules. If you have specific preferences for how people behave in your home, your friends and family will already know. For example, you might require people to take off their shoes or only use a certain sponge to wash the dishes. You may not want anyone to smoke inside or out of the house, or perhaps you aren’t okay with sharing food.

Your house rules will be easier for friends and family to remember and honor. That’s not to say a new caregiver can’t learn your rules and preferences. It just means that choosing someone you know first will make getting care easier and less stressful.

Need a caregiver? Try someone you know

If it’s time to get some help with your daily life, try getting care from someone you know first. You’ll feel more comfortable when you have a friend or family member helping you out at home. However, if nobody is available, don’t hesitate to hire someone from an agency. It doesn’t hurt to get to know someone new and you can change your provider if you don’t connect well with them.

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