Decision to Nurse at Home
Is the Care Long-Term?
Taking on the role of caregiver may
mean having to make changes in your
lifestyle. This may not be
significant if the care is
caregiving is very likely to impact
your work, family time, personal
time and sleep. Remember if
you have decided to take on the
role, be prepared to make changes.
Discuss with your doctors if you are
uncertain of the duration of care.
Consider the availability of
community resources and see how you
can integrate with your care plan.
You can find some services
which may facilitate your caregiving
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What are the Cares Required?
Cares can vary from simple
maintaining of hygiene to more
complex tasks such as tube feeding
and administering home dialysis.
Your healthcare professionals will
teach you the require skills and
supervise you until you are
comfortable and competent in doing
it yourself. In some cases,
such as chemotherapy, you may need
to accompany the person for
outpatient treatment. Find out
from your healthcare professional
exactly the cares required so that
you know how best you can manage
How Much Care is Required?
Determine the amount of
time you can devote to your loved
one's care needs. Assess his level
of abilities to cope with the
activities of daily living, such as
eating and dressing. If he is
alert and can move around with
minimum supervision, encourage him
to be as independent as possible.
These will help to lighten your
responsibilities and also improve
the person's morale. However,
if the person needing care is comatose or
paralytic, then more attention is
required by you. Also, do
consider the frequency you need to
accompany him for medical
appointments if you have to make
arrangement for time-off from your
What are Your Own Needs and Capabilities?
Be sure to understand your own needs
because you may have to make major
changes in your lifestyle if the
care is long-term. Take a step
back to assess your situation as
objectively as possible, reviewing
all the choices open to you.
Consider the reduced amount of
private time you will have to pursue
your own interests or hobbies and
the uncertainty of what the future
holds. Evaluate the need to
make adjustments on your current
employment. If you were to
reduce your work hours, determine
the implications for your financial
needs and career advancement. Review
the financial situation of your
family and decide on a budget that
you will be able to provide. You
should hold frank discussions before
embarking a plan.
What are the Care Recipient's Preferences?
care recipient perspectives, no
places is like home. One
usually prefers the familiar
environment and be taken care of by
someone he knows. Be sure to
understand your his needs.
If possible, includes him in the
decision-making process and listen
compassionately to his concerns.
List down the points affecting your
decision and weigh the pros and cons
of each point. If you really
cannot render homecare, explain to
him. A sick person needs a lot
of reassurance from their loved
Do You Have a Team of Caregivers?
Expect that you will, at times,
become exhausted and will need to
find a way to rest. Hence, you
have to recognise that you need the
help and support of others. Before
you ask for assistances, identify
and make a list of the tasks
required in caring for your loved
one. Determine the tasks you
can complete and those to be
completed by others. Get
support from the people affected by
your decision. Do not be
afraid to ask for help. Check
with your siblings, relatives,
friends, and even neighbours to see
if they can help. You may also
like to engage domestic helpers to
be part of your team. Also, do
consider services in the community,
such as volunteers and home nurses,
where you can pull resources.
Have You Discuss the Problem Honestly?
You have to discuss the matter with those who
are affected by your decision.
Face up the facts and
do not be
blinded by feelings. Discuss frankly on the expenses and how much you can
afford. Do not feel guilty or
ashamed to admit if you may be
jeopardizing your own health or
well-being in providing care at
You need to make
those affected understand how the choice is made, and in this way they will
be more willing to bear with any bad consequences. Remember, it is a very
emotional time for all involved
during this decision making phase.
It may be helpful to bring in a
third party, who is neutral, for
opinions from a different