Family caregivers have arguably one of the toughest jobs, a job which often might turn out to be thankless. Majority of family caregivers do not receive any form of compensation for their services and have to put up with a lot of sacrifices in terms of their personal space, time and even livelihood. Here are a few statistics which give the complete picture.
As is amply visible in the two charts provided above, family caregivers are called upon to sacrifice significantly both financially and in terms of lifestyle in order to care for a loved one. However, therein lies the crux of this undertaking.
Ultimately it is a labor of love that you take for a family member, the cost of which cannot perhaps be quantified fully. However, the issues and problems remain and will perhaps always remain until we are able to find a more inclusive and acceptable solution. Some of the more common problems that family caregivers have to face are as follows.
What difficulties do family caregivers face?
- Time Management- Trying to fit in one’s job and social commitments with caregiving responsibilities within the 24 hours available in a day is a taxing proposition.
- Care givers find themselves in an uphill battle against time and having to resort to insane amounts to multitasking. Many are unable to continue with their regular 9-6 jobs and are forced to look for alternative professions, which allow them a little more breathing space.
- Financial Strains- Taking on the responsibilities of a family member also means significant financial burden added to care givers existing financial responsibilities. As first chart reveals, family caregivers can experience as much as 41% dip in personal savings and almost a fifth are forced to take out a loan to cover the sudden surge in expenses.
- Lack of Privacy- Accepting the responsibility of either an elderly or an infirm loved one also means having to share your space with them and devout time to them. While most of us happily do so out of compassion and love, in the long term one might sense a loss of private space, especially in a comparatively small shared space and might feel constricted.
- Sleep deprivation- The needs and requirements of another person might not always run according to a specific clock. Extremely old and infirm loved ones might have need attention in random hours of the night for going to the toilet etc. This can cause the body clock of a care giver to become messed up and he/she might suffer from sleep deprivation.
- Loss of social life- A care giver might find it almost impossible to keep an active social life, leading him/her to become cut off from social circles. As a result isolation and depression might creep in.
Family caregivers carry out an invaluable function in the society. Their love, devotion and care for their loved ones are shining examples of our humanity and social and family values. To tackle the problems associated with caregiving, individuals should never be afraid to ask help from others whenever they can.
It isn’t much different than getting a baby sitter to care for your kids when you are away. Care givers should also indulge actively in social media to stay connected with friends and the rest of the society. Getting a job that allows you to stay at home or have a more relaxed schedule might also help.