You know your loved one needs help, and you’d be happy to give it, but …
Sometimes that help begins to take more and more time and energy, more than your family can possibly provide. Meal preparation, laundry and housekeeping, transportation to and from medical visits, hygiene and grooming, nursing tasks – eventually the stress can take a toll on family dynamics.
If you need help, you’re not alone.
• Over 16 percent of the adult American population provides care to someone aged 50 years or older.
• Someone caring for a parent has been doing so for an average of 20 hours a week for four years.
• One in three adult caregivers is also raising a child under the age of 18.
• About 70 percent of adult caregivers have to rely on help from family members, friends or neighbors.
• Spouses spend more than 30 hours a week directly caring for their loved one and are less likely to get help.
• Long-distance caregivers spend an average of nearly $400 per month on travel and out-of-pocket expenses as part of their caregiving duties.
• There’s a 20 to 50 percent greater likelihood for depressive symptoms for adult caregivers.
• Nearly 70 percent of adult caregivers take time off during the workday, while 17 percent take a formal leave of absence and 10 percent take early retirement.
• An informal caregiver is estimated to lose an average of $25,494 in Social Security benefits because of time spent caregiving.
If you decide on home care, there are several questions you should ask the home care agency to ensure your family and loved one remains safe, healthy and happy:
- If the caregiver becomes ill, goes out of town or is otherwise unavailable, what are the alternative arrangements?
- Who pays the caregivers’ federal and state taxes, Social Security (FICA) and unemployment insurance so our family is not legally responsible?
- Can you verify that the caregivers are legally able to work in the United States?
- How do you document that your services were indeed completed?
- If the caregiver is injured at a client’s residence, who is responsible? (Many homeowner’s insurance policies exclude injuries to domestic employees, so the caregiver should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.)
- Do you perform criminal background checks and state abuse registry checks? Do you check caregivers’ references from prior work history?
- Are you bonded/insured in case of injury or theft?
If you need help, you’re not alone. Whether your loved one lives next door or hundreds of miles away, Assisting Hands provides caregiving services for thousands of families just like yours across the nation. We can help you, too!