Home Care for Relatives - More than a job

Over two-thirds of all those in need of care are cared for by their families at home. For them, the care of relatives is usually associated with a high burden. But what are the demands and relief possibilities for them? And who can they contact if they need help?

Helga S., 76, suffers from Parkinson's disease. Here, the nerve cells of the brain region Substantia nigra, which controls the fluid flow of body movements, slowly underlie. Meanwhile, the symptoms have progressed so far that Helga S. alone can not cope. Her daughter Marlies has reduced her work as a chemical lab assistant to a half-day job and wants to take care of her - together with her husband Peter, who works full-time as a civil servant. In her family home, a room has been vacated in the basement since Marlies's daughter moved out.

Care at home: First information in nursing courses

Marlies understands that her mother's deteriorating condition will require her time, responsibility and dedication, but her daughter and mother understand each other very well. And since the disease did not occur suddenly, everyone involved could get involved.

After the decision was made, Marlies attended a course for family caregivers, as her health insurance company cooperates with a training center for health and social professions and has offered corresponding courses. Topics included:

  • the nursing bed
  • the blood pressure measurement
  • the pulse measurement
  • the use of remedies and aids
  • back-friendly working
  • special techniques (for example transfer from bed to chair)
  • personal hygiene
  • Dealing with bedridden people
  • Help with food and drink
  • Questions about nursing and health insurance as well as legal and institutional help

In addition, medical knowledge about illnesses and their effects on those in need of care was provided.

Nursing Courses: Learning Nursing

Nursing courses for family caregivers and those interested are offered by charity organizations such as Caritas or hospitals, in many places under the collective name "Krankenhilfe". Often there are special courses for dealing with people with dementia and information about the living will and the power of attorney. If course fees are incurred, they are often reimbursed by the care fund.

Number of people in need of care grows

More than 2.8 million people in Germany are in need of care. Without a doubt, the biggest care services are families and relatives. Already today there are over 4 million men and women over 80 years in Germany, it is the fastest growing age group.

The number of years in which their adult children have to take care of them either personally or through a nursing service is growing: more than ten years of care are no longer uncommon. 73 percent or more than 2 million people in need of care are cared for at home. Only 27 percent of all those in need of care are cared for in the nursing home. Of those cared for at home, two-thirds are cared for exclusively by carers.

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