How do you envision your retirement years? Do you dream of being able to travel across the country or around the world? Are you thinking about indulging in a favorite hobby for hours and sleeping late? That’s the dream of many, but the reality turns into something completely different.
Instead of relaxed days of sleeping late and doing things when you want to rather than need to, some retirees find themselves caring for an aging parent. It’s not what comes to mind when you think of retirement, but it’s the reality many families face.
The Realities of Unpaid Caregiving
The National Center on Caregiving says more than 34 million men and women in the U.S. provide care to at least one older adult. Almost 45 percent of those unpaid caregivers are caring for a family member. Almost half of the unpaid caregivers do so because no one else will help.
While the average age of a family caregiver is 49 years, almost one-third of unpaid caregivers are already at retirement age. If you have retirement goals, you may find that your mom and dad need your help. If that happens, you’ll be forced to provide that care or find a solution that makes everyone happy.
There’s one more statistic that can be quite alarming. Of the unpaid caregivers who are over the age of 65, 33 percent feel their health is fair or poor. Caregiving does impact physical and mental health. Is that what you thought of when you started planning your retirement?
What Can You Do?
You don’t want to turn your parents down. You also know you have dreams. You can be a family caregiver without having to devote every hour to your parents. To do this, start looking at elderly care services.
Elderly care services like home care bring a paid caregiver into your mom and dad’s lives. The caregiver helps with the tasks they cannot do independently. Caregivers can drive your parents to appointments and stores. They can arrange those appointments. They can cook meals, clean the house, and do the laundry.
There’s one more important elderly care service that is designed to help you. Talk to an agency about respite care. When you can help your parent, great. When you need a break to take a trip, work on your hobby, or de-stress, caregivers step in. They care for your parent while you get away. Call an elderly care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging parent are considering elder care in Norristown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.