The Impact on Health When Caring for an Aging Family Member
The majority of people who look after elderly and disabled adults throughout the United States are family members. It might be a spouse or adult child. It could even be a sibling or close friend. When someone people care about is struggling or faces a medical emergency, they want to do whatever they can to help, and that can lead them to give up many aspects of their life, as well as deal with increased stress.
With increased stress comes health issues of their own. Far too often, though, stress begins so subtly as to barely be recognized. It slips in through a sleepless night, an extra hour spent running errands for this aging senior, or by running late for work in the morning. Then it begins to build and the physical effects of stress can become significant.
This generally leads some families to turn to other long-term care options. Home care agencies and the caregivers who devote themselves to providing the best support to men and women at home should be aware of the general motivations behind seeking these alternative solutions.
According to AAP News & Journals Gateway, in a blog titled, Many families shouldering responsibilities for home health care, written by Zachary M. Rossfeld, M.D.:
“After trying home health care, my husband is now secure and well-cared for in a nursing home. He and I were determined to provide quality care at home. The search for quality was confusing, exhausting and depressing. He has little local family to help. We depended on neighbors and the Chicago Fire Department to help after his many falls, some quite dangerous. We didn’t understand the avalanche of changing medical needs and care-taking needs that quickly put him at risk.”
Because health and even relationships can be impacted by caring for someone in need, home care agencies can offer a more cost-effective solution that allows these seniors to remain home while providing relief to the family caregiving support network. Believing that there are no other viable options can be difficult to counter, but when many of these family caregivers realize that home care support is available, and that it’s a cost-effective option that will supplement what they’re doing for their aging loved one, it allows these aging men and women the chance to remain home, where they’re most comfortable.
The busier family caregivers are in their normal routines in life, the more likely stress will become a potent force and agencies are ideally positioned to offer them the support they need. Sometimes it simply takes more advertising and the Internet is a powerful force in spreading information.
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