The Challenges of Being a Family Caregiver

May 22, 2019
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Aside from the heartbreak of having to care for a once-healthy and fully-capable parent or loved one, many family caregivers are faced with the challenge of balancing a full-time job, a growing family, and other competing demands with caregiving duties at home.

4 of the Biggest Challenges Family Caregivers Face

Here are a few of the most common challenges, along with a few helpful tips for working caregivers.

1. Time

A recent survey shows that nearly one third of family caregivers provide 30 or more hours of care for loved ones – and nearly 39% are working full-time, part-time, or are self-employed. With only so many hours in a day, these individuals often struggle to manage their time. Here are a few quick tips to help prioritize and make the most of your time:

  • Banking & bills: Consider moving your parent or loved one’s bank account to the same bank as yours and take advantage of electronic and online bill-pay when it is available.
  • Groceries: Complete grocery shopping for your family at the same time you take your parent or loved one.
  • Meal preparation: When preparing dinners for yourself and your family, consider making extra portions to freeze and transfer to your loved one’s freezer.

2. Money

The same survey conducted by revealed that nearly 46% of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on out-of-pocket caregiving expenses.

Here are a few quick ways to save money on everyday purchases:

  • Purchase off-brand products. These items are often the same quality (and manufactured by the same company) as those name-brand products we love (only more cost-efficient).
  • Stock up on essential, nonperishable items when they go on sale (paper goods, canned and boxed foods, soap, etc.). Websites like SmartSource and RedPlum offer money-saving coupons that may be used in addition to those from your local grocery store.
  • Scope out the local newspaper and the internet for special deals and discounts. Websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial provide many ways to save money and do the things you (and your loved ones) enjoy.

3. Family

Most working caregivers are caught balancing two or even three full-time positions (caregiver, career woman/man, and parent). All of these duties are important and it’s critical to balance your time between them all.

Making time for your family (children, spouse, significant other) should always be a priority. Any imbalance can cause unwanted strain on your relationships.

Always keep an open door with your children, encouraging them to share their feelings, and never let caregiving take precedence over your marriage.

4. Stress

With all of the stress surrounding working caregivers, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s also important to take a few moments each day to relax the mind, focus on those aspects of caregiving that bring you the most joy, and tend to your own health – providing yourself with the same level of care as you do for a loved one.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Respite Care Services

Even the most experienced caregiver needs help every once in a while. When this happens, never be afraid to reach out for assistance. At Care Options for Kids, we refer loving and qualified caregivers to provide a wide range of services, from respite care to 24-hour live-in care.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the right plan of action for your loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering respite care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.