6 Signs it’s Time to Find a Personal Support Worker

Boy Reading Newspaper with Grandpa

Posted by Jeff Durish

Fri, Dec 13, 2013

Caring for aging parents may present challenges for their adult children. As years move on, we see the need for greater intervention to ensure the health and safety of our aging loved ones. Canadians across the country have begun to embrace home care as a viable option, recognizing that a personal support worker may be a natural next step.

Home care professionals nurture a trusting relationship between an aging parent and themselves, providing not only help with daily tasks but also companionship. A personal support worker (PSW) looks to the needs of the whole person; they listen, suggest, and assist their elderly client to maximize their current capabilities without taking unnecessary risks. The personal support worker monitors their living conditions and coordinates all necessary resources in order to sustain their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.

At some point, you may realize you need assistance when your own life becomes stressful or complicated. The following signs may confirm that it is the right time to take the next step.

1. You’re constantly worried

When there are safety issues, you begin to worry.

  • A visit to your parents home may drag on as you double-check that everything is in order. Is the kitchen clean? Is the refrigerator empty? Are the clothes clean? These and similar concerns may cause sleepless nights.
  • You make frequent check-in calls and a missed one may raise alarms.

2. Asking for help

When you strain to keep up the pace and need help with extra responsibilities.

  • Asking neighbours to look around, peek in, or to visit daily.
  • Encouraging your own children to drop by and check-up on grandparent(s) or asking siblings to pitch in and help.

3. Missing work

When there is not enough personal time to get things done.

  • You find yourself needing more time off to assist Mom or Dad to run errands once the Ministry denies their driving licence renewal.
  • You consider a leave of absence to attend to time-consuming responsibilities, such as post-operative care and convalescence.

4. Retirement changes

When you consider making changes to you longstanding retirement plans.

  • You may have planned to travel and enjoy recreational activities, but wonder if you ought to sacrifice your goals to care for your loved ones.

5. Declining health

When you notice the added strain is causing setbacks to your own physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

  • Pushing your own physical health to the limit may inadvertently burden your own children, spouse, and friends within a few short years, adding guilt to the current dilemma.
  • Your own frequent visits to the family doctor leads to the realization that your health is beginning to suffer, leading to increased medical costs.

6. Others are noticing

Family and acquaintances make suggestions to get help.

  • Other family members may recognize the strain that caring for aging parents is producing and start giving advice or making recommendations.
  • Employers may state that they want you to do something about the situation because it is affecting your work performance.

When adult children add up the signs, a decision to engage the services of a personal support worker may be the best and most reassuring solution to address the needs of their aging parent(s). Choosing home care with your loved one does notmean that you don’t love them or you won’t care for them any longer, but it allows you to live your life, stay healthy, and provide more time to create meaningful memories together. Understanding this makes hiring a personal support worker an act of love that radiates through your entire family.


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