Senior home care for Alzheimer's patients can be very challenging for the family caregiver!
Providing senior home care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be exhausting, as many American families have learned. This illness, along with many other dementia-related conditions, strongly affects the rest of the caretaker’s life – and a multitude of employers cease to sympathize.
A recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association states that approximately 47 percent of caregivers are able to maintain their current employment while providing for an afflicted loved one. Workplace Options, a related researcher, has also been quoted as saying that as many as one in every seven employed Americans are either former or current caregivers to someone with Alzheimer’s or a related illness.
If you are finding it difficult to balance your life with the responsibilities of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, you may be one of many in the nation who:
- Arrive late to work. Research shows up to 69 percent of caretakers find the need to arrive late or leave early during the workday in order to maintain a stable life.
- Take a leave of absence. Instead of using a leave of absence for their own health, around 32 percent of employees are taking this option for their afflicted loved one.
- Switch professions. As many as 26 percent have actually ventured into a new occupation that’s less demanding and allows them to be at home more.
- Receive a dismissal. Apparently even the most sympathetic of employers can only be stretched so far, as around 20 percent of caretakers have been fired.
Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. are on the rise – with one in eight Americans over the age of 65 diagnosed with the illness. With that comes a whopping 15 million workers who are currently moonlighting as an unpaid caregiver to these individuals who are often family members.
Perhaps one of the most devastating aspects of Alzheimer’s is the financial state it leaves many families in. When it comes to an aging parent or other loved one, people cannot put a price tag on their importance. This leads to growing debt from medical bills, home nurses and other expenses not always covered by insurance. Combine this with an unstable employment situation, and many families find themselves on the brink of disaster.
If you are trying to balance work and caretaking, there are resources to help you. Speak with your loved one’s medical team to connect with an advocacy organization in your area. They may provide an employee assistance program or other employment-related resources you can use to cope with all you’re juggling. Counseling is also important for the amateur caretaker – many support groups for Alzheimer’s families exist, and chances are one is in your area. Finally, you may need to consider a senior home care option if the burden becomes too great.
Making yourself be the sole senior home care provider in Pennsylvania as well as other states is not the only way to go. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as many caring, attentive families choose to turn to professional care when they feel it is best for their situation. A medical professional can help you determine what’s right personally for your family.
While Alzheimer’s may feel like the loneliest of illnesses, remember you are not alone. Countless individuals across the country are struggling to make sense of it all right along with you.