Taking care of aging family members can present a variety of challenges for caregivers. America’s elderly family members face increasing difficulties in maintaining their independence and mobility
According to a new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, nearly 35 percent of caregivers have skipped routine care, including medical appointments, to take care of a loved one. In the past year, more than a quarter of caregivers have talked to their doctor about caregiving. Three in ten struggle managing health due to caregiving. And one in six have put off filling a prescription.
First-hand stories from real caregivers offer valuable information about caregiving.
My grandmother has diabetes, congestive heart failure, C. Diff and has fallen several times in the past couple years, since she’s 94 and has Parkinson’s as well. If we don’t help my grandmother with these daily tasks that she can no longer do on her own, the risk of her becoming immobilized and not being able to get out of bed increases greatly.
My mother doesn’t put her in one because my grandma doesn’t want to go to one. She was recently in a rehab facility because she broke her toe, she had congestive heart failure, and we need to visit her more often because she is lonely.
We got a phone call from the memory care where my mother-in-law is staying. She was in the middle of an altercation with another resident. My husband is reeling at this incident, which was nearly identical to a phone call we received 18 years ago while I was at work. That time, we were notified that our toddler had accidentally pushed another little girl down the stairs at the local daycare.
My wife and I just bought our first home when all of a sudden the pandemic struck. When my mother-in-law moved in to help us, we didn’t realize how much our privacy would be affected. I have tried talking to her about it, but nothing I say has gotten through to her. She thinks we are silly for not welcoming her into our new home and treating her like family.
Now that I’m a parent myself, I love my mom more than ever. But in addition to loving her, I also feel like I can’t escape from her. She has demonstrated that she does not have sufficient income to be able to afford a separate residence or to move back home.
Difficulties of caregiving in America
Families in America are caring for their aging relatives. Yet, according to a new study, family caregivers in the U.S. have difficulty finding resources and providers of services that help them support their family members specially when they’ve got some sort of dementia or other disease.
Caregivers are often forced to divert their attention from personal needs such as paying bills and buying groceries in order to focus on the medical needs of the person being cared for. As a result, they often have to dip into their own pockets to pay for basic necessities.
Caregivers in the U.S. report spending up to 5 billion dollars annually on eldercare services. More and more adults, especially women, are becoming caregivers as the number of U.S. senior citizens reaches an all-time high.