Cost Of Caregiving: Have you ever sat down to figure out just how much it has cost you — emotionally, physically, or even financially — to be a caregiver for your elderly mother?
You probably wouldn’t trade all the sacrifices for anything in the world.
You love your mother. You want what’s best for her. You’ve wanted her to be safe. That’s what being a family caregiver is all about, at least to you. And that is a noble thing.
But there are many different costs associated with being a family caregiver. Some of those are easily overlooked. And, when you don’t calculate the cost of being a caregiver, you could find yourself in some serious trouble at some point in the future.
Let’s look at some the costs that you may have overlooked when it comes to caregivers for this aging parent or another loved one.
In the beginning, your mother might have only required a little bit of help every once in a while. Maybe she needed to stop by and pick up some groceries on your way home from work. Not a problem. Then perhaps she needed help getting to a doctor’s appointment. Absolutely.
Over time, though, you may have devoted more and more time and energy to helping her. Once or twice a week became three or four times. Then it became daily.
Eventually, has it transitioned to stopping by after work every day for several hours, getting home at nine or 10 o’clock at night, completely exhausted, and worn out? That’s a serious concern. Now is the time to check into the cost of caregiving help.
This lack of time in your personal life can and often will affect your personal relationships. Maybe your spouse or partner or friend is feeling jilted. Maybe your career is suffering. Perhaps your friends are wondering why you don’t make time for them anymore.
And maybe your relationship with your mother has been strained because she just doesn’t want to listen to you anymore.
The older you are, the more important it is to stay in good health. Visit your doctor, eye doctor, exercise, eat right, and so forth. But the less time you have to yourself, the less likely you are going to be doing those things.
When you understand the true cost of caregiving, you may realize help is needed. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. It’s actually a strength. And when you do need help as a caregiver, turn to home care agency.