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Why Everyone Needs Help Caring for Disabled Senior Parents

Posted on November 5, 2018 with 0 comments

It’s common among adult-children of aging seniors to feel indebted to your parents.  As our parents age, we can feel obligated to care for them as they age because they graciously committed their time to raise us. Assisting your parents is a great way express gratitude for all they’ve done for us. Trying to do it alone, however, can quickly create serious disruptions in your life.
Before you decide to take on the responsibility of becoming the sole caregiver for your parent or loved one, let’s take a moment to evaluate the considerations a do-it-yourself approach vs. hiring a professional in-home caregiver.

Increased Risk of Family Caregiver Health Problems

The demands of caregiving tend to grow over time as your loved one continues to age.  What may start our as running errands or shuttling to doctors appointments can quickly turn into meal preparation 3 times a day, bathing and continuous bathroom assistance.  As the needs of your loved one grow, your time for rest and basic self-care diminish considerably. Numerous studies show that they’re also at risk of developing health problems while caring for disabled senior parents.
Some of the most common health problems include:
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
Some doctors believe that the increased risk comes from the stress that caregivers experience. At least one study finds that caregivers have 23% higher levels of stress hormones than non-caregivers.
Without a professional in-home caregiver to take over some of the responsibilities, family caregivers can put themselves and their loved ones at considerable risk. Increased caregiver fatigue and risk of debilitating illness inevitably decrease the quality of care your loved one receives. Additionally, it’s something that your parents would likely object to if they understood the consequences.

Higher Rates of Depression in Family Caregivers

When taking on the responsibility for the needs of a disabled parent or loved one, you end up putting their needs above your own.  Initially, you may be happy to provide care, but as the demands increase you’re left with less and less time to tend to other personal commitments such as work or family.  Studies have shown that taking on the role as the sole caregiver for your parent or loved one can cause depression.
The rate of depression tends to be even higher for people who care for a loved with dementia. The higher level of depression is likely a result of the stress of dealing with radical personality changes that result from dementia including hoarding, wandering away from home, agitation, and embarrassing and other out-of-character behaviors.
With the help of a professional in-home caregiver, you can ensure that you have the time to rest and recharge in order to provide the loving attention that your loved one deserves without compromising your own wellbeing.

Effects on Career and Income Opportunities

It goes without saying that taking care of a parent or loved one takes a lot of time and energy. It’s a full-time job that often demands overtime.
We only have so much time in a day so if you’re caring for a parent, a portion of that time will likely come from your career.  It’s not just time you have to consider, but also energy.  Not only could the time you spend at work decrease but your performance at work can suffer as well.
Income opportunities or the demands of work will need to be set aside in order to cater to the physical demands caring for your parent or loved one.  Paying a professional caregiver can help you to stay focused on your career so you won’t miss opportunities.

Effects of Family Caregiver Inexperience and Lack of Training

Unless you’re a nurse, doctor or medical professional it’s likely that you haven’t received training in the best practices and skills associated with proper caregiving. A seemingly simple task like dressing your parent becomes much more difficult, not to mention dangerous when you haven’t been trained to do the job efficiently.
Not having experience or training with aspects of care such as medication management or diet planning can have a major effect on your loved one’s overall health.
123 Home Care hires experience caregivers and provides in-depth training to ensure you receive the highest quality of care. They can provide a higher level of service while you focus on maintaining your relationships and overall health. Coping with the stress of having a disabled elderly parent is hard enough.  Hiring professional assistance can give your the opportunity to spend more time enjoying your parents company.

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