The Reality of Senior Care: Why More and More Families are Seeking Help
If you're among the majority of adult children in America, chances are you're providing some level of care for an aging parent. Perhaps it helps with driving to doctor's appointments or cooking meals. Maybe it's keeping an eye on their medications or managing their finances. Or, it could be something more substantial, like helping them bathe or dress. Whatever the level of care, it's likely that you didn't expect to be in this position at this stage in your life.
You're not alone. In fact, according to a recent study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, nearly half of all adults in the United States have provided care for an ill or aging family member in the last 12 months. And, as our population continues to age, that number is only going to increase.
The Reality of Caring for Aging Parents
While it's often viewed as a labor of love, the reality is that caring for aging parents can be challenging—and expensive. According to a report from the National Institute on Aging, individuals who provide care for an aging parent incur an average financial cost of $5,531 per year. That cost can be even higher if the care recipient lives far away or has a chronic health condition that requires more frequent medical attention.
In addition to the financial burden, caregiver burnout is also a very real concern. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that nearly one-third of caregivers experience high levels of psychological distress. That distress can manifest itself in various ways, including anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.
What's more, caregivers often have to sacrifice their own careers and personal lives to provide care for their loved ones. According to the caregivers surveyed in the National Alliance for Caregiving study mentioned above, 36 percent have made work-related changes such as reducing their hours, changing jobs entirely, or taking a leave of absence in order to accommodate their caregiving duties.
If you're currently providing care for an aging parent, know that you're not alone—and that there is help available. My service’s sole purpose is to support families like yours. There are also products and services like mine designed specifically to make your job easier. We hope you'll consider LifeSmartConcepts, LLC as your partner in making sure your parents receive the best possible care. Reach out today.