Here is the unvarnished truth. Caregiving is hard. If you are the primary caregiver for an aged loved one, your caregiving responsibilities likely impact your physical and emotional health, your career, your personal finances, and your relationships with others.
Here are some statistics from the Family Caregiver Alliance that highlight the fact that caregiving is no easy task:
- 20 percent of all female workers in the United States are family caregivers.
- Women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty.
- In total, the cost impact of caregiving on the individual female caregiver in terms of lost wages and Social Security benefits equals $324,044.
- More than one-third of caregivers provide intense and continuing care to others while suffering from poor health themselves.
- 26 percent of female caregivers report fair to poor health compared to 12 percent of women generally.
- 51 percent of caregivers exhibit depressive symptoms versus 38 percent of non-caregivers.
Challenges to Finding Balance
These statistics illustrate some of the challenges facing caregivers today. The desire to provide appropriate care to a loved one is a driving force for many caregivers. While this is admirable, this desire can be harmful at times.
The all-consuming nature of caregiving can make it difficult to achieve a reasonable life balance. Focusing intently on the needs of your loved one can narrow your perspective in a way that makes you neglect other important considerations, including your own health and welfare.
Is this happening to you? Are you perhaps neglecting to care for your own needs, while putting the needs of your loved one ahead of any other concerns?
It can be difficult to make an objective assessment when you are intently focused on the needs of a loved one. "The Caregiver's Handbook" offers this checklist to help you with your self-assessment:
- I am getting out/exercising at least once a week.
- I am getting at least seven to nine restful hours of sleep a night.
- I talk with or visit up to three friends or relatives weekly.
- I keep annual medical and dental appointments.
- I am taking only the medications as prescribed to keep up my health.
- My legal and financial papers, including wills, are in order and available.
- I have checked a new resource regarding caregiving each week.
- I have read and am aware of the Caregiver's Bill of Rights.
- I am eating three balanced meals a day.
If you cannot check off every item of this list positively, it may be time to consider re-balancing your life to promote your own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of your loved one.
How In-Home Care Can Help
Many caregivers experience a kind of tunnel vision regarding care for their loved ones. While seeking to provide a high quality of personal care to aged ones, caregivers can sometimes fall victim to the assumption that they are the only ones that can truly care for loved ones.
The reality, however, is quite different. There are a variety of avenues by which your loved ones can receive an excellent level of care. For instance, in-home care is an attractive option.
The advantages of in-home care for both the one receiving the care and for you as a caregiver are many. In many cases, in-home care provides caregivers with a needed break by handling some of the more mundane tasks associated with caregiving.
For instance, consider how many hours you spend in a week caring for things like meal preparation, housekeeping duties, transportation, assistance with daily living activities, shopping, and so on for your loved one. In-home care services can include all these activities, freeing you to spend quality time instead of merely rushing from one activity to another when you are with your loved one.
Using the services of in-home care professionals can free you to
spend much-needed time with those who provide you with
Knowing that professional care workers are available can ease both the everyday tasks of caregiving and the anxiety you may experience in cases where you simply cannot be available to your senior. Taking advantage of the opportunity to get adequate rest, invest time in other social relationships with your spouse, family, and friends, and receive proper medical care for any of your own health issues will ultimately make you a more effective caregiver and provide your loved one with the additional benefit of access to qualified, professional care workers.
To reap the benefits in-home care provides for your whole family, please contact us today. We will partner with you to provide high quality care for your loved one.