As people in the U.S. continue to live longer, and as our aging population grows, more and more adult children are finding themselves straying from their own goals and career paths in order to provide caregiving services to elderly parents or grandparents. It should come as no surprise to our readers that, according to a recent article in USA Today, “family members [of aging parents] provide a staggering $450 billion worth of unpaid care annually.”
This trend has resulted in a growing concern for the caregivers themselves, who have a tendency to take on more and more responsibility for others at great cost to their own health and financial future. “Although they often don’t identify themselves as ‘caregivers,’ more than 42 million Americans perform some form of consistent care for older or impaired adult relatives or friends, according to a 2009 estimate. It can range from paying bills, to driving Mom to doctor appointments, to more hands-on care such as bathing, and even tasks once left to nurses such as the care of open wounds… the stress and the time involved can take a toll on the caregivers’ own health and finances as they put off their own doctor visits, dip into their savings and cut back their working hours.”
AARP has recently sponsored an ad campaign aimed at letting caregivers know that they aren’t alone, that they don’t have to neglect their own health and finances for the sake of their loved ones, and that there are resources out there to provide help and support.
We hope that our readers will consider us a resource as well. Whether you need to petition for conservatorship, execute a power of attorney, or find a care manager to help you locate service providers in your area, our office can help.