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Are You Ready to be a Family Caregiver?

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If your aging parent or loved one needs help with activities of daily living or has recently been diagnosed with an age-related condition, you may have suggested taking on his or her care yourself. This admirable act can be extremely rewarding, however there are also many challenges associated with caring for an aging parent, many of which develop over time and are unforeseeable.

The following are just a few considerations that adult children should make prior to taking on the role of caregiver for an aging parent or loved one. Knowing these challenges can help to ensure both the safety and quality of life of the senior, and the health of the family caregiver.

Realistic Expectations

Family caregivers often choose to provide care for a parent out of love and devotion. Unfortunately, these two qualities are not enough to ensure the health and safety of a senior at home. It is important for family caregivers to be realistic about the skills they have and if they can support a senior loved one’s needs. In many cases, a senior that requires some level of caregiving now will require long-term care. It is important not let emotions guide your decision making.

Unexpected Emotions

When you are the caregiver, your own schedule becomes tied to the person you are taking care of. You schedule your own day around your loved one’s medications, appointments and activities. Despite how much you love the person you are taking care of, you can find yourself becoming resentful and long for more time for yourself.

Family Dynamic

When providing around-the-clock care, everything becomes secondary to the person being taken care of, and that can be very hard to deal with. You are also now the one in charge and that isn’t natural. So far in life, your parent has looked out for you, the child, and now that dynamic has changed. This can lead the parent to feeling inadequate and the child feeling like they have to walk on eggshells.

Financial Cost

Being the primary caregiver for an aging parent or loved one can also take a financial toll. It’s very hard to juggle a full-time job when also acting as a caregiver for another person. If your loved one needs 24 hour care in Fort Myers, also consider the financial implications of not being able to work outside the home, in addition to the costs for your loved one’s food, medical expenses and the possible need for emergency care.
Once you’ve carefully examined how caregiving will affect your day-to-day life, learn more about your options for support. From friends and family to professional caregiving services, there are countless resources to help you along with this journey. For more information about support services nearest you, reach out to Fort Myers Home Care Assistance at 239-449-4701 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager.