Growing old can be a wonderful time in a person’s life. As the years pass, however, older adults might experience a decline in overall health, along with a need to rely more on family members for assistance with everyday tasks.

Caring for an elderly loved one can be very rewarding, a way to give back to your parents the love and care they gave to you. In addition, caring for your parents can help them stay as healthy and independent as possible.

There are, of course, challenges that arise in caring for your loved one. Here are a few situations in which a trusted home care service can provide a helping hand.

Mealtimes. Good nutrition is important to good health. Your loved one might not have much appetite anymore, or it might be difficult for your loved one to prepare healthy meals.

You might not have time to make sure your elderly parents are eating properly each day, especially if they live in their own home.

Having a professional caregiver on hand during meals can save you time and might help your loved one eat healthier meals. For instance, caregivers can check the expiration dates on foods, help compile shopping lists, and provide transportation to and from the grocery store.

Holidays and vacations. When you are providing care to an elderly parent and have children of your own, holidays and vacations can be a busy time. The good news is that professional caregivers are available for whatever timetable you might need.

For instance, you can hire home care services for a week or two in the summer so that you can go on a vacation with your family and feel that your loved one(s) will be safe and cared for while you are away.

Work responsibilities. According to a survey by the National Caregiver Alliance and AARP, about 50 percent of family caregivers who care for people ages 50 or older also work a full-time job. Another 11 percent of caregivers work part-time.

The demands of caregiving can have a negative effect on your employment obligations, due to the extra stress and the need for additional time off to deal with caregiving responsibilities.

When things get busy at work, hiring a little extra help can allow you to be more focused and productive. With senior home care services, you can stay on top of your career while maintaining your peace of mind.

Utilizing the professional caregivers provided by a licensed home care agency can help you live a healthier and more balanced life.

James Wogsland, MBA and Certified Senior Advisor, is co-owner of ComForCare Home Care, and chairman of the Beaufort County Walk to End Alzheimer’s.;