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What Family Caregiving Really Costs

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The costs of caring for an aging loved one in your home may not be as transparent as you initially believe. Although these arrangements are often made with the best of intentions, failing to consider the full range of demands family caregivers experience can be detrimental. Understanding what it means to assume total responsibility for the wellbeing of a loved one is an important part of determining which resources and forms of support will be necessary for success.

Lost Wages

It is often impossible for caregivers to maintain full-time jobs while offering around-the-clock support to their loved ones. Although an adult family member might be fairly self-sufficient when you first step into the role of caregiver, he or she may experience a continued decrease in self-sufficiency over time. This can mean having to take an extended period away from work or even leave a job entirely. Caregivers must also consider the impact extended leaves can have on their overall marketability in the workforce in the future.

Diminished Quality of Life

It can be incredibly difficult when one person is shouldering the responsibility of caring for an aging adult at all times of the day and night. Regular breaks from their duties are often not possible for live-in caregivers who are managing these responsibilities on their own. Caregiver burnout and other issues can affect both the physical and emotional wellbeing of all parties.

Changes in Personal Relationships

The demands of caring for a loved one in a full-time capacity can take their toll on marital relationships, children, siblings and friends. Husbands, wives, or children can feel as though the family member doing the caregiving may be neglecting their needs and giving “preferential” treatment to the senior family member. Between siblings, if one is doing the primary caregiving, it’s common for the siblings to disagree on what type of care mom or dad needs most.

Aside from calculating the monetary costs of caring for a senior loved one, it is vital to think about the other effects that this change might have on your relationships, your wellbeing and your long-term financial health. Opting to get assistance from a Jefferson County home care agency is one of the best ways to offset the hidden costs of family caregiving. Family caregivers who rely on these services are less likely to experience burnout and have a far better opportunity to maintain their personal and professional relationships.

You don’t have to manage your loved one’s care needs on your own. Professional caregivers from Home Care Assistance can run errands, cook, provide light housekeeping, engage in stimulating conversation and offer companionship. We provide live-in care as well as flexible hourly home care and work with our clients to create a care schedule that best meets his or her needs. Reach out to us today at (303) 987-5992 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.