Caregiver Support

A caregiver is anyone who provides personal service for an elder person who cannot do for themselves.  This may entail running errands one hour a week to a family member being on call daily.

Caregivers are most likely to be close family members, such as spouses, children, parents, and others. Caregivers may also be hired from reputable companies. Whoever is the caregiver needs special support from the rest of the family. Because of emotional ties, and because most people have other obligations, such as work or other family responsibilities,the burn-out rate is high. It is highly suggested that the caregiver belong to a support group. One of the things to be learned is where to draw personal boundaries. The benefits of talking with other caregivers is to avoid certain pitfalls and learn shortcuts to caring service.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Caregiver:

Caregiving Minuses

  • Stagnating career  Caregiver is less able to relocate, transfer or accept promotions.
  • Income strain  Home care can be expensive and leave less money for trips or investments.
  • Health setbacks  Caregiving may lead to more absences at work or early retirement, causing a decrease in productivity at the workplace.
  • Employer costs Companies lose when employees miss work to car for family.
  • Stalled parenting  Many delay having children because of the timeand hardship of caring for parents.
  • Emotinally draining  Seeing the detrimental effects of aging can be exhausting.
Caregiving Pluses

  • Stronger relationships  Remaining closer to your parent(s) and maintaining daily contact.
  • Greaterprotection  Parents are insulated from fraud and elder abuse.
  • Peace of mind  Knowing you're doing all you can for your parents.
  • Income boost  Some parents can pay their children to care for them on a part- or full-time basis.
  • Blood ties  Caregivers with a personal stake in another's welfare may offer better overall care and nurture.

Reprinted by permission of Copley News Service for
Allen Hager of www.RightatHome.net

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