Caring For The Senior Home Caregivers in Spring Lake, Muskegon, MI, and the Surrounding Areas
How Comfort Keepers Supports Senior Home Caregivers in Spring Lake, MI
It’s no secret that the U.S. population is getting older and older every year. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate there were more than 46 million Americans who were aged 65 and older as of 2016—which is mostly made up of the baby boomer generation. As newer generations age, it’s estimated that the total elderly population of the United States will be upwards of 98 million by the year 2060. For the current aging population, AARP estimated around 40 million Americans provided unpaid caregiving services to an adult in 2014 and 2015. Even further, about 10 percent of the senior home caregivers were taking care of a spouse and a tenth of them were 75 or older too.
Due to these hard facts, it’s becoming more and more important to allocate resources to assist this aging population. But not only are the resources going to be vital, so too will be the caregivers taking care of them. As more parents age, more Americans will perform the role of senior home caregivers to help keep their family members health and happy in their retirement, recoveries, or ailments.
However, new research also suggests that the care of senior home caregivers is equally important to the health of those being cared for. A healthy, well-rested senior home caregivers can perform the job far better than an ill-equipped and tired one. We as humans have this innate tendency to do whatever it takes to keep friends and family happy. That’s never been more the case than with aging parents.
A Demanding Job, Often Forgotten
But the role of caregiver is no easy one. The daily routines of senior loved ones become the new routines of their family caregivers. Preparing meals, bathing and dressing, managing bills, driving them to appointments—these are just a few of the daily needs an aging loved one will have, on top of the needs of those providing the care. In many cases, seniors need 24-hour home care which leaves little time for breaks for their family members providing care. This can take a major toll on the emotional and even physical state of a caregiver.
With the first-hand experience that Comfort Keepers has with caregiving and the pressures it puts on family members providing care, we took part in a 2017 study, Age and Emotional Well-being: The Varied Emotional Experience of Family Caregivers. The study showed us just how much stress family caregivers are under when caring for their senior loved ones. Even more it showed a difference in the emotional state of someone caring for a loved one with a minor illness, versus one with a more severe illness.
For family members caring for a senior loved one with a mild illness, their emotional state was often the same as their peers—that well-being typically greater than that of younger adults. But it’s those caring for adults with more severe illnesses that suffer drastically in comparison. The cause was found to be unrelated to the condition of their loved one, but rather the inability of the caregiver to keep up with social goals, relationships, and other activities. When caregivers are unable to stay connected to their social circles and relationships due to the responsibilities of caring for a severely ill loved one, feelings of resentment, guilt, doubt, and depression take over. These feelings are known as caregiver fatigue.
How Comfort Keepers of Spring Lake, MI Can Help
Thankfully there are options available for family caregivers in need of either a short- or long-term break from their caregiving duties. Respite care is a fantastic short-term care option for those individuals needing to take a vacation, run their own errands, or visit the doctor’s office for an appointment of their own. For long-term care, Comfort Keepers of Spring Lake, MI can step in and provide a custom, personalized care plan for a senior loved one. Be it age or an illness, a Comfort Keepers caregiver is trained and experienced in nearly every type of home care. If you’re interested in how our senior home caregivers can help you, either long-term or short-term, please contact us or call (616) 425-8667 for more information or to schedule an in-home consultation.