As a family caregiver, how much experience have you had in the past? You might be assisting an aging parent, grandparent, sibling, or even your spouse. Whoever it is that’s depending on you, if you are like most family caregivers out there, you don’t have very much experience at all.

That’s not really a problem, though. That’s because home care can be a valuable asset, even if you continue to provide some level of support and assistance to that senior.

But ask yourself, are you the best equipped person for this job?

You might be. This isn’t an attack on you and your abilities. It is certainly not an attack on your love and affection for this person who needs help. The thing that often gets lost in the mix of stress and pressure placed on the caregiver’s life, especially when it is a family caregiver, is just how beneficial they are for this senior at this stage in his or her life.

Not every family caregiver is the best suited for these types of jobs. Sometimes you have to step back and analyze the situation rationally and honestly.

When you do that, you may come to realize that no, you aren’t the best person for the job. And, in fact, you might already understand that. You might have realized that a long time ago. But this senior has needed help and you are the only one who had the time, lived close enough, and stepped forward to be that level support he or she required.

In reality, you are not the only one.

Home care agencies operate in nearly every region across the country. They have experienced and dedicated aides ready to step in and provide support when family caregivers get overwhelmed, don’t have the time they thought they would, or are finding it challenging to maintain a good, positive, healthy relationship with the senior while also trying to be there caregiver.

Look to home care as a supplement. You don’t have to consider home care as a replacement. If you don’t want to do this anymore, you don’t have to. You are not under any legal or even moral obligation to continue being a caregiver for an aging parent or other loved one.

Most people do it out of a sense of duty and responsibility and love. Those are wonderful traits and characteristics, but if you are overwhelmed or don’t have experience, a home care aide might actually have some insights that benefit not just you, but the senior who depends on support.

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

An exacerbation is a temporary worsening of COPD symptoms for your senior. This can be something that she experiences many times a year and there are a few different situations that can trigger an exacerbation. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what exacerbations mean for her.

Your Senior Is Experiencing Shortness of Breath More Often

Shortness of breath becomes a lot more common during an exacerbation. This happens because your senior’s pulmonary system is more overwhelmed than it usually is, which results in breathing difficulties. She might be relying on her rescue inhaler more or she might be resting more than usual. You may also be hearing more wheezing or rattling sounds when your senior is breathing.

She’s Not Sleeping Well

When your elderly family member is having trouble breathing, sleep may also be in short supply. Your senior may have a hard time getting comfortable, which can make sleeping difficult. But her body is also working harder to get oxygen into her system, which can leave her feeling too awake even if she’s sleepy. When she does sleep, she may not feel as rested when she wakes up again.

Your Senior Is Coughing More Frequently

Frequent coughing is something that people with COPD often experience. During an exacerbation, that coughing might increase even more. The reason your senior is coughing so much has to do with her body trying all the tricks in its arsenal to get more oxygen into her lungs. She might also notice that she’s yawning more, which is another oxygen-related reflex.

Your Senior Is Dealing with More Phlegm

Phlegm or mucus might be increasing during an exacerbation, too. Your elderly family member’s body creates mucus to help move irritants out of her lungs, but sometimes it works overtime. It’s important to pay attention to the phlegm itself, though. If it’s becoming thicker than usual and is changing colors, her doctor needs to take a closer look. This can be an early sign of a lung infection.

She’s Having Trouble Staying Focused or She’s Feeling Confused

When your elderly family member is having more trouble breathing, that affects her brain, too. Her brain needs oxygen in order to function and having a little less oxygen moving through her body can mean that she’s feeling more confused or she’s having trouble focusing on what’s going on around her.

Some of these signs can be subtle, but they’re important to watch out for. Your senior might benefit from having home care providers helping her more often. This is helpful not only in recognizing exacerbations, but also assisting her with routine tasks while she’s feeling under the weather.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

If you are caring for your elderly loved one, you will need to have a talk with them about their nutrition. There are far too many senior citizens who aren’t getting the nutrition they need. Some elderly people will eat too much junk food. Other elderly people might not eat enough food at all. Your elderly loved one might have another problem with the way or how much they eat. It is important that you learn to recognize if your elderly loved one has a nutrition issue. If they have home care providers, make sure those providers let you know if there is a problem. If there is a nutrition issue, there are some things you can do to help.

Regular Refrigerator Cleaning

From time to time, you might need to help your elderly loved one by cleaning out their refrigerator, cabinet, or pantry. You should look for any food that is past the expiration date. In the refrigerator, you should clean out any leftovers that weren’t made in the last couple of days. If there are condiments or other foods in the fridge that are old, those should be thrown out, too. There are many elderly people who are eating rotten or old food and getting sick. If you or a home care provider help your elderly loved one to regularly clean out their refrigerator, this can be prevented.

Grocery Shopping Assistance

You or the home care provider could also help your elderly loved one with grocery shopping. Your loved one might have nutrition issues because they can’t read the labels on the food they buy. They might not know what foods are the best for them. You can either go shopping with your elderly loved one or go for them. It might be best to sit with your loved one to make a list of groceries. You will need to get foods they are going to eat or it will defeat the purpose of having them eat healthier.

Doctor’s Appointment

You might need to talk to your elderly loved one’s doctor, as well. For instance, if your loved one is losing a lot of weight because they won’t eat much, it might be more than just stubbornness. Your elderly loved one might have a health condition that is causing their lack of appetite. The doctor might need to run some tests to determine what is going on with your elderly loved one.


There are many reasons why your elderly loved one might not be eating healthy, not eating enough, or eating too much. If there is an issue with your elderly loved one’s nutrition, these are some of the things that you can do to help.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.