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Family caregivers carry a heavy burden

Caring for a loved one who requires help with daily living activities can be rewarding but it's often also exhausting and overwhelming – both physically and emotionally.

A family caregiver often must help with activities such as bathing, and dressing. They may also provide transportation to doctor appointments and perform other household chores. Family caregivers are usually unpaid and sacrifice their own lifestyles and careers for their loved ones.

The impact on the caregiver

If you’re an older adult who plans to “age in place” in your current home, you probably want to consider what that could mean to your family.

The impact on caregivers is significant. Here are a few statistics to help illustrate that:

• There are approximately 65 million unpaid caregivers in the United States1

• The estimated economic value of unpaid caregivers is $450 billion2

• 83% of caregivers contribute financially to the care recipient3

• 57% withdraw funds from retirement or savings accounts3

• Average lost lifetime wages and benefits due to caregiving: $283,716 for men and $324,044 for women5

• 48% report losing jobs, changing work hours, or missing career opportunities3

• 40–70% have clinically significant symptoms of depression, which can lead to other health problems4

• 44% experience increased stress with their spouse3

• 50% of caregivers say caregiving takes time away from friends and other family members4

What are your options?

Although most older Americans prefer to stay in their home, that choice comes with challenges.

It’s likely, that as some point you will need extra care, especially if your health declines. Are your children or other relatives emotionally, physically, financially, and mentally prepared to provide that care?

The best thing to do is simple - talk. Discuss this matter with your loved ones as early as possible, while you are independent and able. Consider how you will address the challenges described above and minimize the burden on your loved ones.

The idea of moving to a senior living community like Manor of the Plains may come up during this discussion. At the manor, care is available by professionals when you need it. For our assisted living residents, that means just the right amount of assistance with daily tasks balanced with an independent and active lifestyle full of events and activities. Residents who need continuous assistance may benefit from our long-term care. It provides 24-hour qualified care, customized to each person’s needs – such as medication management, help with dressing, bathing and other activities, physical therapy, or restorative nursing.

If you’re not sure whether the time is right for such move to a community, we can help guide you towards the right decision for your family. Give us a call at 620-225-1928 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

1 National Alliance for Caregiving
2 AARP public policy institute study 2011
3 Pillemer, Karl and Suitor, Jill J. “Who Provides Care?
A Prospective Study of Caregiving Among Adult Siblings” The Gerontologist. “ July 2013
4 The Family Caregiver Alliance - caregiver-statistics
5 The MetLife Study of Caregiving: Costs to Work Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring For Their Parents
The above article was partially written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.

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