Taking Care of Parents While Taking Care of Yourself

I know the struggle of caring for a sick or elderly loved one. Nearly every day, I see families stretched so thin that the slightest jolt might rip them apart. But without these caregivers, those being cared for would probably end up in a nursing home where they would be separated from the home they’ve known all their lives. Taking care of parents or other loved ones not able to take care of themselves is an important job.

This is why we at Granny NANNIES do what we do. We offer care services for a variety of conditions from the comfort of our patients’ homes because that’s where we think they belong—at home. One of those services, Respite Care, is designed to give relief not only to our patients, but to the family caregiver as well. While you might not need the full-time care that our other services offer, everyone who is a caregiver needs a break now and then.

If you’re a family caregiver, you’re probably all too familiar with the daily challenges that caregivers come up against. But what about the big picture? Here’s how your work adds up, why you are so important, and why you might need help.

Why Family Caregivers Are So Important

Approximately 40 million Americans are caregivers for a parent, grandparent, or loved one in need. These caregivers help with basic, everyday functions like dressing, bathing, feeding, and using the restroom. In addition to their role as a family caregiver, many are also parents and full-time workers.

Their work is valuable, too. The support that caregivers provide is roughly estimated to be valued at $470 billion per year. But they work for free.

Because of improvements in medical science, life expectancies have risen exponentially. Family sizes have also decreased rapidly, making demand for family caregivers even greater. Just three years ago, there were seven potential caregivers for every person who was over 80 years old. In 2030, there will be only four—in 2050, three. This is unsustainable.

Family Caregivers Need Help

The physical and emotional costs of taking care of parents or loved ones who can no longer care for themselves are also high. Anxiety, depression, and chronic illness are much more common for caregivers. What’s astounding is the long-lasting effect of the toll on caregiver health. Caregivers who support a loved one for long periods of time experience disrupted immune systems for up to three years after they have stopped being caregivers. Additionally, caregivers with a loved one in the I.C.U. for extended periods often exhibit high levels of depression.

Taking Care of Parents with Help from Granny Nannies

At Granny NANNIES of Miami, we care about all the family caregivers who are taking care of parents and loved ones. That’s why we offer Respite Care for those times when the family caregiver needs some help. Is taking care of your parents getting in the way of your mental or physical health? Granny NANNIES can help. Call (305) 591-1818 today. We offer a free in-home care consultation.