What kind of legal issues could you face as a family caregiver? You might be taking care of your elderly mother and have no prior experience supporting a senior like this. You may assume this is your responsibility. After all, she lives in the same town. Why wouldn’t you want to be there for her?
It’s certainly noble to be a family caregiver, especially taking care of an elderly parent, but stress and anxiety will be become part of your life. You also need to understand certain legal ramifications when providing this type of care and support.
You cannot legally administer medications.
Unless you are a licensed and certified nurse, you won’t be able to legally administer medications. What does it mean to administer? Even if you touch one of her prescription bottles, open it up, and take out the pills to hand it to her, that’s technically administering medication.
You can certainly offer her reminders, and while many family members overlook this legal aspect, you don’t have the authority, legally, to do this. If she requires an IV or some other direct medication, a visiting nurse may be needed.
You can’t force help upon this aging parent.
You may be absolutely convinced they need assistance, and while you want to be there for them, you can’t force him or her to accept help. You might realize the benefits of a home care aide, but if they adamantly refuse, there’s nothing you can legally do about it.
Yes, you might be able to take them to court to declare them legally incompetent to make those decisions, but that’s rarely a good decision. In fact, it can destroy relationships to break up families.
They have the right to independence.
Your elderly mother, father, or other loved one is an independent individual. They have the right to their own independence. They have the right to decide the course of their life, including whether or not they rely on outside assistance.
It’s easy to assume you know what’s best, especially when you begin worrying about their safety, seeing the changes in their physical capabilities, and understanding the health issues they may be facing, but if you believe they need help and you understand the value of hiring a home care aide, learn as much as you can about it and then approach them to discuss it.
By giving them respect, you help them feel better, more in control of their life, and control may be something they are desperately trying to cling to.
The staff at Acti-Kare Responsive In-Home Care is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Acti-Kare Responsive In-Home Care provides quality and affordable home care to reduce caregiver stress in Spring Hill, FL and the surrounding areas. Call (352) 289-0450 for more information.
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