We are introducing a new blog series to help support, empower and inform individuals who have taken on the role of caring for aging parents or loved ones.
Through the series, we will share stories, resources, tips, support, ideas, and so much more. We will explore ways to ensure you care for yourself to preserve your mental, emotional and physical health to provide the best care possible.
If you are in the position of caring for an aging loved one or will be, we encourage you to join the Tribute caregiver support group. This is a monthly meeting where we share experiences and expertise when caring for a senior loved one.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what do they say when it comes to taking care of ailing parents? The heavy toll of caring for aging parents often falls to daughters more often than sons. In many cases raising a child and caring for an elderly parent are very similar and can be equally demanding, but the same “all hands on deck” approach isn’t often applied to caring for senior loved ones. In fact, the American Sociological Association has found that daughters spend twice as much time caring for elderly parents, especially when they have male siblings. This doesn’t come as a surprise. Women have long been the caregivers within society, while men have been viewed as the providers.
However, these roles have changed over the last half-century. The economy has made it a necessity for both parents to earn an income to raise a family. What hasn’t changed is that women are still twice as likely to take care of their ailing parents, in addition to raising their own families. This added layer of responsibility undoubtedly takes a toll on daughters, mothers, and wives alike.
Family Caregiving in the US
Providing care for a senior loved one is both physically and emotionally demanding. AARP surveyed family caregivers, and found that more than half of respondents also have a full-time job, and 60% claimed that caregiving negatively affected their work in some way. Additionally, a quarter of caregiver respondents said they have difficulty caring for their own health due to time restraints. This highlights the importance of seeking or accepting help from others. Caring for your parents or senior loved ones should not be a lonely task.
Take Care Of Yourself
As we discussed, the responsibility of caring for aging parents traditionally has fallen onto daughters’ shoulders. It usually begins around 40 years, which is also the time when most women are often raising their own families while working a 40+ hour workweek. The struggle continues as they age themselves and are often also managing careers, supporting spouses, caring for grandchildren, all the while heavily responsible to care for their aging parents. This heightens the importance of self-care. It is critically important to avoid the burnout that can come with having too much responsibility. Always put yourself first.
Help Is Always Available
If you are a caregiver to a loved one, we encourage you to join our support group. You are not in this alone.
Tune in next month where we will discuss the importance of exercise as part of your self-care plan.