Can I Be My Parent’s Home Health Caregiver?

Author: Tiffany Stockton

Reviewed by: Catherine Braxton

Yes, you can be your parent’s home health caregiver with the proper certification or skills. This arrangement depends on your ability to take on the caregiver role and the level of health care your parent requires. Adult children become caregivers for aging parents out of love, duty or a desire to ensure their parent’s well-being. Make sure you understand the full scope of the role you’re assuming before taking on this responsibility.

The Dynamics of Family Caregiving

Adult children often want to ensure their parent’s well-being and quality of life as they age. Taking on the role of caregiver can naturally enhance the parent-child relationship. Caregiving strengthens family bonds and fosters compassion and empathy. It also serves as a way for children to give back in the same way their parents took care of and raised them.

As home health caregivers, adult children assist their parents with a wide range of tasks, including activities of daily living (ADLs) and mobility assistance. They may also change wound dressings or provide clinically based support. As home health care differs from in-home care, the responsibilities require greater skills.

Challenges and Considerations for Adult Children as Caregivers

While family caregiving comes with many benefits, it also takes a physical and emotional toll on the caregiver. Providing hands-on care for an aging parent requires physical stamina. Caregivers assist with lifting, transferring and medical care tasks. Witnessing a parent’s decline in health or independence often causes feelings of grief, guilt, frustration and exhaustion as adult children seek to provide care while balancing other responsibilities and roles.

Caregiving also has financial implications for adult children, particularly if they need to reduce their work hours or take time off. Out-of-pocket expenses for medical supplies, home modifications or respite care services can quickly accumulate. However, family members may qualify for payment for their caregiver services

Seeking Support and Resources for Family Caregivers

Adult children serving as home health caregivers need to prioritize their well-being and seek support when needed. Building a support network of family members, friends, neighbors and community resources can provide valuable assistance and respite for caregivers.Professional home care services, such as home health aides, skilled nursing care and respite care, can offer additional support and assistance with various tasks. This support allows caregivers to take breaks to attend to their needs and prevent burnout. Additionally, caregiver support groups, counseling services and educational resources provide guidance and encouragement for caregivers.