According to AARP, approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older within this past year.
Caregiving comes at all levels. It may start with occasionally stopping by your parent’s place to check in on them. It may escalate to routine visits for more personal intervention. It may intensify to where you spend hours each day, or even consolidate homes and move in together. For some, it worsens, and they move into another level of care with assisted or skilled nursing care.
Have you witnessed first hand any of these levels with your own parents?
Life wasn’t supposed to go this way. You got married, had a family, started a career, were raising your own kids when the unthinkable happened. All of a sudden you found yourself in the middle of running after your kids and attending to your parents’ needs all at the same time.
Every level of care adds stress to your life. Whether it’s stopping by once a week to “check in” on things, or having them in full time care, the stress builds. And as many people have found out, from the moment the caregiving role is introduced into your life, it’s always there. You think about it while you’re at work. The visits continue no matter how able they claim to be. And even for those in day programs or full-time nursing care, constant attention may be part of the cycle to attend care planning meetings, going to doctor appointments, making medical decisions, and interacting with daily routines that may seem to change on a daily basis. [Read more…]