Caregiving for a senior loved one can be a rewarding role. It gives family members a chance to bond and build memories. But it can also be stressful and exhausting. It isn’t always easy juggling the needs of an older person with those of your own family. It’s a juggling act that’s familiar to about 38 million family caregivers in the United States.
According to a 2021 AARP report, these 38 million family caregivers provided an average of 18 hours of care per week, for a total of 36 billion hours of care. They may assist a loved one with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing and bathing. Many also perform various health care services, like managing medications or daily injections, regardless of whether or not they have any expertise or experience.
Common Family Caregiving Challenges
Although the caregiving experience varies from one family to another, there are duties and challenges common to most. Some of these include:
- Assisting with daily living activities: Helping a loved one with basic needs like bathing and dressing, as well as cooking, cleaning and laundry, are usually among the top caregiver tasks. While family members might be comfortable performing some of these duties, those of a more personal nature might be uncomfortable for both the caregiver and the senior. It’s one challenge that can be tough to navigate.
- Handling health care needs: Caregivers are sometimes required to administer medications, perform wound care and even give injections. These are tasks for which family members usually have no formal training. The situation can leave caregivers worrying about how well they are handling these important duties.
- Managing finances: When a senior has memory loss, a family member may need to assist with financial and legal responsibilities, from paying bills to overseeing health insurance claims and payments. It’s a burden that can cause anxiety.
- Mobility support: When a chronic health condition or injury makes it difficult for a senior to move about the home independently, family caregivers may need to help them transfer from place to place, such as from the bed to a chair in the living room. Assisting with these types of mobility issues can put the caregiver’s own physical well-being at risk.
- Transportation assistance: There may come a time when it’s no longer safe for an older family member to continue driving. Loved ones are often called on to transport the senior to doctor appointments, grocery shopping and social activities. These are time-consuming tasks that can take a bite out of a caregiver’s already busy schedule.
It can all add up to long, hectic days for family members. Fortunately, there is a short-term care solution that caregivers might find useful.
Learn About Respite Care at ASC
Respite care at an ASC community is designed to give caregivers a break. It might be for a few days to catch up on personal business or for longer so you can go out of town. Family members can relax and feel confident their loved one is in good hands. Call an ASC location near you to learn more today!