When you stop to think about caring for your elderly mom, it's often a no-brainer. You cannot imagine anyone more qualified than you to care for the parent you've loved for decades. What people don't often think about is the true cost of being the sole caregiver.
If you look at the averages, it can be very alarming. Survey results from an AARP and Family Caregivers Alliance find that the older you are, the more hours you usually put in.
People between the ages of 45 to 64 offer more than 25 hours of caregiving each week. People between the ages of 65 and 74 tend to devote just over 30 hours of care each week. After the age of 75, caregiving hours jump to almost 35.
Giving Up Work Hours is Possible
One typically has to work to the age of 62 in order to collect a partial Social Security Benefit. To gain full benefits, you must work to the age of 66. If you're working full-time, could you also offer quality care to your mom? Would she be okay alone while you're at work?
What Do You Give Up If You Cut Your Hours or Quit?
If you have to quit your job or cut your hours, what would you sacrifice? If you're still actively building retirement savings, you'll be reducing the money you'll have decades from now. Will you have enough income to cover utilities, groceries, and emergency expense? Can you still afford to own or rent your own home, if you aren't living with your mom or vice versa?
What About Health Insurance?
The Affordable Care Act requires companies who have 50 or more full-time employees to offer health and dental insurance. If you switch from full-time to part-time work, you could lose your health insurance coverage. If you quit your job, you will lose health and dental coverage benefits through an employer. Can you afford to go without or to pay for it on your own?
Can You Handle the Care Emotionally?
Family caregivers often become isolated from friends. There's no time to go out and socialize. That can make you feel lonely. In time, it may have you feeling depressed.
What You Should Do
While it's a caring act, family caregivers need to have help available. Ask siblings to chip in a few hours here and there to ensure you can have breaks. If you need to work, look into adult day programs. See if there are relatives who will stay with your mom while you're at work.
You should also look into part-time elder care services. Caregivers can take over while you go to work or take a break. Call our agency to discuss your situation and learn more about pricing.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Caregiver Services in San Diego CA, talk to the caring staff at Cambrian Home Care today. (562) 498-1800 / (877) 390-4300