Too often we fall into the role of caregiver by accident, taking on the job merely because it presents itself. You’re there, it’s your loved one, what else can you do?
The burdens of caregiving can have long withstanding impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your financial situation. It can last way beyond the act of caregiving, impacting you for the rest of your life.
As we age, we plan for many things. A new house. College for the kids. Retirement. But few add in the cost of caregiving for different members of the family. And in most cases, few are prepared for the burden it can cause.
Caregiving isn’t a one size fits all kind of process. Some will ease into it over several months or even several years, gradually taking on more tasks their loved one can no longer handle. Some fall into it head first when disaster strikes overnight. There’s never a solution that fits all.
Surveys show that caregiving takes up a considerable amount of time in a family caregivers life. Many spend 30 hours a week or more doing things like:
- Shopping for personal care items
- Attending medical appointments
- Transporting aged loved ones
- Preparing meals
- Administering medications
And that’s just the start. [Read more…]