Unpaid caregivers provide over 90% of the basic care required by individuals age 50 and over in the United States. Simply put; family and friends are the primary source of assistance for the elderly, and it’s wearing caregivers out.
With one out of every five American households providing some type of care for an elderly individual, caregiving has become a second job for nearly 20% of people. While some care consists of assistance of activities of daily living (ADL’s), including cooking, cleaning and bathing, other extends into monitoring the activities of Alzheimer’s patients or organizing medications. On average, all of this care ends up taking over 20 hours per week.
How Caregiving Affects the Caregiver
Although most unpaid caregivers are happy to provide care for their parents, grandparents, or spouse, the job is both emotionally and physically taxing.
The Center for Disease Control reports that caregivers often:
- Neglect their own health by not keeping up on preventative care
- Develop high blood pressure due to increased stress
- Have trouble sleeping due to round-the-clock care and increased stress
- Develop back pain due to lifting or aiding disabled individuals
- Have reduced income due to time taken off work to provide care
While providing elder care for a loved one is a noble task, the cost of providing unpaid care is high not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of reduced health and wellbeing of the caregiver.
How Homecare Can Help
Seeking care from a homecare agency provides informal caregivers with a source of respite. Whether care agencies are contracted to come daily, or weekly, the service provides family caregivers with time to work outside the home, run errands or take care of personal medical appointments.
Providing caregivers with a period of time to focus on themselves is the key benefit of working with an elder care agency. By keeping caregivers healthy, those in need of care are in better hands, the cost of healthcare for caregivers is reduced and stress in the home decreases significantly.
Homecare Software Provides Comfort
Many family members choose to care for their loved ones because they are concerned about the level of care that would be provided by an outside agency. They wonder;
“What if the care worker doesn’t show up?”
“How will I know if Mom took her medication while I was gone?”
“How do I know if Grandma made it to her doctor’s appointment?”
ClearCare Online provides real time updates to care managers and family members. The moment that concern strikes, caregivers can check in via the ClearCare link provided by the homecare agency and see just what care activities have taken place today. Care agency workers are required to check in throughout the day and keep families up-to-date.
By providing transparency and assisting with coordination of the care plan, ClearCare helps family caregivers to hire outside help while still having the peace of mind that comes with personally providing the care to a loved one.