Providing care to your loved one, whether a child, parent, or spouse, can be a labor of love. But caregiving is a much more difficult job than most people realize, as caregivers are often chained to their responsibilities. They often lack the opportunity to go to the grocery store or more importantly, to get away for a few days. Caregivers must make many sacrifices to provide for the daily needs of their loved ones.
Frequently, families lack the money to hire professional caregivers. Instead, they must provide this care themselves. Often, family members, acting as caregivers, experience stress as they attempt to provide around the clock care for their loved one. As a result, they feel underappreciated for their efforts.
Families should focus equally on their loved one and the needs of his or her caregiver. Family caregivers can become depressed if they fail to take occasional respite from assisting their loved one. It’s important for the caregiver to take breaks, as it’s impossible to assist their loved one 24/7 for 365 days a year. Caregivers must take vacations and spend time doing things for themselves or they will suffer declining health and burn-out.
Finally, caregivers should research support groups, such as ARK Therapeutic Services or the Alzheimer’s Association. I am amazed at the number of clients in stressful caregiving roles who never reach out for help. Community support can provide relief and resources you will not know about without making that telephone call. No one knows what they don’t know, so reach out and ask for advice. Visit http://www.arctriangle.org/about for information about caregiving for loved ones with special needs. Visit http://www.alz.org/NC/ for information about caregiving for loved ones with dementia.
If you have questions about caregiver support, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, or elderlaw planning issues, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at www.wgalaw.com, or call us at (919) 256-7000.
Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen from 9:00-10:00 AM.