How Can Families Work Together in Caregiving?

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Caregiving is better shared.

You have an aging loved one.

Perhaps you have several aging loved ones.

Getting older involves more health concerns.

Should mental or physical capabilities diminish over time, then greater assistance will be required.

Perhaps you have a family member with a disability or a chronic illness who is still fairly young.

Whatever the situation, caregiving is a reality in your life.

According to a recent AARP article titled “Building a Family Caregiving Strategy to Align with the Real Needs of Families,” the responsibility should not be attempted alone.

Caregiving requires support.
Caregiving should not be done alone.

How do you find support?

First, reach out to family members.

Often providing care requires 24 hour vigilance.

Not many people can hire this out to a professional.

For this reason, the responsibility falls on a family.

Sharing the caregiving responsibilities among several family members is key.

How do you do this?

First, you can create a caregiving schedule.

This allows everyone to work together so no one person experiences burnout.

Many public assistance programs are limited in their scope and services to family members must be involved in providing care.

Caregiving is a taxing role.

Those providing care often work full-time and while rearing their own children.

It is emotionally and physically exhausting.

It is also expensive.

If there are several siblings and one shoulders these responsibilities alone, resentment can fester.

It is best to work together with all siblings to provide financial support and give the primary caregiver time to rest.

For the one serving as the primary caregiver, a larger inheritance may make sense to compensate for the years of sacrifice.

If you are a caregiver, you are not alone.

About 40 million Americans provide unpaid caregiving services to their adult loved ones.

Around 3.7 million Americans care for family members with disabilities who are under age 18.

The immediate and long-term costs can be significant.

People may work fewer hours, take a pay cut, lose benefits, or leave the workforce to provide care for loved ones.

The economic impact in the future can be significant.

For these reasons, Congress is taking action with the “Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.”

The act is designed to educate and provide greater support to families who serve as caregivers.

Take time to discuss caregiving with your loved ones and create a plan to support everyone involved.

References: AARP. (accessed October 31, 2019)  “Building a Family Caregiving Strategy to Align with the Real Needs of Families.”

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