In an AARP study, 63% of primary caregivers handled all or the majority of an older adult’s care. It becomes an issue if you ignore self-care, which is evident as 22% of those caregivers report finding it hard to take care of themselves.
When those caregivers do not have any help from siblings, friends, or other family members, a quarter of those caregivers report their health as being fair or poor. When an older parent’s care needs are intensive, 44% of family caregivers report their health as being fair or poor.
Do you feel like you have a choice? If not, you’re not alone as 61% of family caregivers helping a parent report not having an option. In addition, 61% of caregivers are women. Does all of this sound familiar? You’re not alone and need to start taking care of yourself.
Caregiver Burnout Is a Risk
Women often find themselves filling the role of caregiver in different ways. If you have children, you take on the caring role the minute you become pregnant. You gave birth and stayed home with your baby for six or more weeks, depending on your situation and career.
You might have decided to stay home until your children started school or were into high school. Right when you were ready to go back to work, your mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and needed you.
You’ve been a family caregiver for decades now, and it’s all so overwhelming. Through your children’s dental and medical appointments, and then all of the appointments for your mom, you stopped focusing on yourself.
It’s not helpful to lose track of yourself. Self-care is essential. If you push yourself to the point of illness, who helps your mom then? Providing your mom’s care is wonderful, but you need to stop and take breaks every few months.
When you do take breaks, you return to your role as your mom’s primary caregiver refreshed, energized, and ready for anything. It helps her just as much as you.
Respite Care Allows You to Focus on Your Needs
Do you feel like you’ve hit a wall? You’re burned out and don’t know where to turn for help. Everyone feels that you’ve been doing this so long, that you don’t need help, but you know you do. Home care is the solution you need to ensure your senior parent is cared for while you get a chance to take a break.
It’s not okay to push yourself to the point that you’re burned out. It affects your mental and emotional health. Burnout also impacts your physical health.
Schedule home care services for your mom. She’ll have help with meals, housekeeping, transportation, and more. She also gets to have a fresh face helping out each day. It ends up benefiting you both.
With respite care, you can catch up on self-care and know she’s in great hands with a home care aide.