Warning! Consuming the following may be dangerous to your health!
1 or more aging parents/in-laws
Between the two put yourself and your full-time job, a spouse, community activities, house work, ‘me’ time (hahaha)……
You might just need Alka-Seltzer or, at the very least, a long vacation!
The proverbial sandwich generation is growing daily and many of us are stuck in the middle. By 2020 one in three households will be providing care for a disabled or elderly family member. And with caregivers providing an average of 8-10 years of support/care for their parents, this not only affects your daily life, but also, potentially, your own retirement! Let me explain.
Many caregivers are women in their 40’s and 50’s (daughters, daughter-in-laws, nieces, wives, cousins) who either choose to cut their work hours, miss time at work (taking a leave of absence) or leave their jobs altogether to spend the time caring for their aging parents or relative. This is costing women on average $324,000 in lost wages, social security and pension benefits!! (Men slightly less at $284,000).
So you may be putting your own retirement at risk to care for your parents. Many people are sinking under the sense of obligation that they feel. They determine that it is somehow their job to take care of all of the things that Mom and Dad need.
Past generations were able to provide this care without the years of interruption that it causes today. People are living longer and frailer than they once did which puts an increased burden on the families that care for them. Add that to the fact that women are in the workforce at much higher rates (not home to do the ‘care’), and that families are more spread out geographically, and you can face many years of difficult care demands. While it may feel like a noble cause to take it all on yourself, or something that you think you have to do, I urge you to reconsider.
With the proper help, support and guidance, you can identify many options available to provide the assistance and care that you may currently be providing. Putting your mother in a ‘home’ is not the only answer but you need to know what the options are and plan accordingly. There are many community services and programs that can support you in providing that care; some free and some at a cost but I urge you to ask yourself what is it costing you to continue to provide that care and assistance all on your own? You deserve to find the support you need to prevent caregiver burnout!
During the years that my siblings and I have been going through these transitions with my parents the experience that I had as a nurse have helped to guide our plans and decisions many times. My family has said over and over, “What would we do if you didn’t know all this stuff?” In 3 months time, just because I knew the senior care industry inside and out, I was able to save my own parents over $15,000 while still getting them the care and help that they needed! Now, that may not go a long way in paying for the care that my father currently needs, but it will help to cover several months of his care so we consider it a win.
If you don’t know, you don’t know and that’s OK! But recognizing the need for assistance and then finding somebody to help you can save you time, money and a great deal of aggravation. Not only can the right person support you through the tough times that may lie ahead, but they can also supply you with the knowledge and tools you need to help you know your options and create a plan. You don’t have to go it alone!
Lessen the stress. Create more balance during this crazy, uncertain time. Gain some relief from the aggravations. Get support!
You will not only be a better caregiver for your parents but you will also help to secure your own eventual retirement!
On the journey with you…….Kathy
If I can help you get the support you need and deserve, visit my website and contact me: www.parentcarealliance.com