Because the Baby Boomer generation is the largest living in the US and they have reached, or they are approaching retirement age, providing care has become a full-time job for many American families. This means that for in home senior care, the stress involved may lead to health issues that affect the enjoyment of your life.
In the US, it is estimated that 44 million Americans provide unpaid assistance to help the senior members of their family. In terms of money value, that is over $300 billion every year which goes to helping seniors in their home. That figure is nearly double the amount compared to what is spent on nursing home and home health care combined.
It may seem logical to think that because the caregiver is a relative, the stress levels would be decreased since they have known the person they are taking care of for a long time. Many family caregivers report that they have developed an even closer relationship which they find rewarding. However, quite often the opposite is true which may lead to even greater levels of stress.
On-Call: One of the biggest causes of stress is being on-call 24/7 for the senior that needs assistance. Depending on the level of care that is needed, it can be quite stressful knowing that at any time help is needed. This is especially true for seniors who have dementia or similar limitations that means they need help at any time of the day or night.
Arguments: Another stressful issue is the arguments that often happen between the caregiver and the senior. Disagreements of this nature can often induce greater levels of stress because of the relationship involved. For those in family eldercare, these are the moments that are the most dreaded because the stress between both members reach their peak.
There is also the feeling of being trapped in a situation that has no end in the foreseeable future. Dealing with such stress levels can be quite burdensome.
For seniors who have dementia, there are an estimated 15 million Americans who provide them with over 18 billion hours of care that is unpaid. This means that the numbers cited here do not include professional caregivers which only highlights how much families provide in the caring of their loved ones with dementia.
For in home senior care, the added difficulty of dementia only increases the stress that is being experienced. For family eldercare which is being shouldered by a relative, the stress levels are increased because of the unpredictable nature of the dementia itself. The key for family caregivers is to recognize the point where the support they provide is no longer enough to take care of the needs of the person with dementia.
For so many families, taking care of their parents or elders is not just a duty, it is a privilege. However, there will be stress even under the best of situations, so it is important to recognize when it strikes and to find relief when necessary.
If you're interested in learning more about what Senior Providers Network can do to help to reduce Caregiver/employee Stress, feel free to contact us.