Right now, in America more than 34 million Americans are serving as their family’s caregiver. On average family caregivers spend around 24 hours per week providing care to their loved ones. But as we watch our families grow older we can’t help but feel obligated to help them. However, we do need to consider the common challenges associated with caring for a loved one.
Managing Your Time
Many caregivers report that while providing senior care for their loved one they have lost many interpersonal relationships. This can include not having time to spend with friends, missing out of family activities and unable to go on vacations or just enjoying the simple things in life. Helping to care for someone can become a second job, and to many people feel obligated to support and take care of their aging love one themselves with no additional support.
Providing care to a family member can become very costly to your bank account. A lot of times you will need to take extra time off work to take your loved one to various appointments, or spend a little extra time with them while they are sick. These minor situations start to add up. It becomes an added expense that you were not prepared for and can become costly not only to your pocketbook but to your own personal wellbeing as well.
Emotional/Physical Stress – Burnout
More often than not, many family caregivers fall into this role by default. They only planned on looking after their loved one for a little while, but as time moved on their role became more permanent. Seventy percent said that caring for a love one is the number one source of stress, ahead of the downturn in the economy and other family medical problems. Family caregivers reported having feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, impatience and felt they were lashing out at others without reason. These situations are very common, and often times can be solved by asking for additional help from various resources.
Asking for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You want the very best for your aging loved one and you can with other options that won’t require you giving up all your time and energy. Senior home care is a very popular option that many people use. Senior home care can provide services like medication reminders, house cleaning and transportation. They even provide respite care, so you can get that much needed break from caregiving. Home Care can help for a couple hours a day, or a few days a week. Plus, you won’t have to worry, because they are professionals who have been trained to take care of your loved ones specific needs while you are away.
So, before you take the leap of becoming the sole caregiver be sure to factor in these common concerns that you could be facing along the way. Just remember that you are not alone, and that there are services available to help support you in your family caregiving journey.