Care for Caregivers: Challenges in Home Care

The home care industry is growing along with the US’ aging population. According to the Census Bureau, by 2035, Americans older than 65 (77 million) will outnumber those who are younger than 18 (76.5 million).

Since seniors requiring care do not want to leave their homes for as long as they can, the demand for caregivers is bound to shoot up as well. But the home care industry is not without its challenges. And the rising numbers will also amplify the issues. Learning about these challenges will help lessen or even prevent them.

Here are the common challenges faced by caregivers.

Family Caregivers

caregiver talking to her patients

According to study by the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Alliance for Caregiving, over 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in 2015.

Caring for a family member is undoubtedly a rewarding and benevolent endeavor. However, it comes with a number of challenges, as well.

— Time management can be difficult for family caregivers since they usually have other priorities like school or work to think about. Since family caregivers usually care for others in the same home, it is also more difficult to squeeze time to rest.

— Caregiving can be physically and emotionally taxing on a person. Those who care for people who have chronic illnesses report high levels of emotional stress. The physical demands of caregiving can also cause the caregiver’s health to decline.

— Family caregivers often experience financial strain, particularly when they leave paying jobs to do unpaid care. This worsens the longer the caregiver does it.

— Because family caregivers often live with their charge, they find it difficult to lessen interactions and spend time alone. Caregivers also feel like they have less privacy, especially since the person they’re caring for is a part of their family.

— The feelings of stress, exposure, and financial strain contribute to a feeling of isolation and depression. Also, family caregivers find it difficult to ask for help because they feel guilty thinking they should be able to shoulder the burden and responsibility by themselves.

Other Issues

— Professional caregivers usually experience some of the same challenges family caregivers encounter with some exceptions. Some feelings may either be strengthened or diminished because they are not caring for members of their family.

— People who care for both their children and their parents at the same time are called the Sandwich Generation. These people often also have full-time jobs.

Recommendations

Caregiving is a difficult task for family members and professionals alike. The simple act of asking how these caregivers are doing may not alleviate their stress, but it will at least let them know that they are noticed as well, that their patience and sacrifice are appreciated.

Ideally, others can lessen the burden by sharing it. However, if no one else in the family has that kind of time to spare, it may be worth considering professional help.

Some families are worried about not being able to monitor the care being given to their loved ones once they seek professional help. A lot of technologies now have answers to this predicament. Private agencies that use home care software have ways to share real-time information about their patients. This can bolster your family’s caregiving efforts in meaningful ways.

The most important thing to remember is to care for your caregivers, too.

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