It’s estimated that the average older adult has seven potential family caregivers. By 2030, it’s expected that this will drop to four. As families struggle to find suitable caregivers for their aging parents, what are their options?
Often, families are left struggling with decisions that are hard to make. On the one hand, you want to help your mom, but there are other issues you have to carefully weigh. Take a closer look at the challenges that family caregivers face when they’re caring for their parents or considering it.
Do You Quit Your Job?
Your mom needs someone around all day. You cannot work and help her out, so what do you do? Do you quit your job? Do you have to stop working full-time? You don’t see another option.
You have to consider the issues you face when quitting your job. Even if your mom can pay you a small hourly wage, you may not be making as much as you were. You lose out on important benefits like contributions to health and dental insurance, 401k programs, and HSAs.
Can you afford your home, your car, and your other bills without your income? If it’s going to impact your finances, you need to consider other options for your mom’s care.
What If You’re Sick?
You’re caring for your mom each day, and it’s going well. What if you become sick? You learn you have cancer and need to undergo treatments like surgical removal of the tumor and radiation or chemo. Those treatments are going to drain your energy for the next weeks and months.
What if you fall and break your ankle and need to avoid strenuous activities for now? Who helps your mom when you can’t?
Do You Get to Take Breaks
As a family caregiver, how often are you taking breaks? Sometimes, all thoughts of self-care get pushed aside to focus on caring for your parent. You have to put self-care first and your mom’s care follows closely behind. If you’re not caring for yourself, you risk burning out, and that leaves your mom without help.
If you pair family caregiving with breaks offered through respite care, your mom has the help she needs while you care for yourself. It’s important that you have time off for vacations, errands, and social events.
What If You and Your Mom Don’t Get Along?
Not every family gets along. What if you and your mom are not close? Before you think that there are no other options, you need to consider what you need. Caring for your mom may feel like your duty, but it’s not a good idea to put your mental, emotional, and physical health at risk.
Senior home care aides can help your mom. Be as involved as you choose to be, but never feel like it’s your only choice. You can rely on senior home care aides to provide the care your mom needs.