There’s no question that family caregivers are the first line of defense when it comes to caring for elderly or sick loved ones. However, a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life program has found that the number of family caregivers has increased by 10 percent between 2010 and 2013, concluding that 4 in 10 Americans are acting as caregivers for a loved one. One suspected reason for the increase is attributed to a slow economy which has left many seniors with lesser or depleted savings and reducing the ability to hire professional help.
Perhaps more startling, however, than the current caregiver statistics is that more than half of people surveyed stated that they expected to provide care to an aging parent at some point in time. Leaving the question: when that time comes, what options are available for care?
Home Care Software Can Help in the Care Epidemic
While family caregivers often act as the primary source of care for seniors, there are options for care assistance to even cash strapped families. Here are some sources of relief and respite for family caregivers who find themselves in need of a helping hand when it comes to caring for a loved one:
Friends and Family: A solid support system is vital for family caregivers to avoid feeling overburdened. When money is tight, having other family members and close friends you can rely on to assist with caregiving duties can take the weight of the world off of a caregiver’s shoulders. Even if these individuals are able to provide companionship for an hour or so while family caregivers run errands or take a moment to themselves, their help can be invaluable.
In Home Care Managed by a Home Care System: In-home care for seniors offers family caregivers the chance to attend to themselves and other responsibilities with minimal worry. The best home care agencies will send well trained and informed caregivers who actively use a home care software or home care system like ClearCare Online to track their clock-ins, clock-outs and report on client condition. Another benefit of agencies using a home care software or home care system is that due to ease of scheduling and caregiver matching they can often accommodate less routine schedules for emergency needs or more intermittent care for tight budgets.
Senior Center Programs: When senior loved ones need enrichment, senior center programs and activities can often offer an opportunity for seniors to get out of the house, socialize with their peers and relieve caregivers for an hour or two. Home care providers using a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare Online, may also be able to schedule caregivers to help provide transportation and companionship for these activities, too.
As more and more Americans face the trials and tribulations of caring for a parent, being aware of the available options when it comes to caring for both their loved one and themselves will be imperative to the overall wellbeing of our nation. With the help of support resources, knowledge and private duty providers using a revolutionary home care software and home care system like ClearCare Online, hopefully caregivers will feel more empowered than overwhelmed.