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Family Solutions to Caring for Loved Ones Can be Very Complicated

You are sick of being sick.

This winter has been nothing but one illness after another. First your husband, then you, now your younger daughter.

This last week, in fact, has been so frustrating that, like in the old plea for help when you were being wrestled by your brothers, you want to scream, “Uncle!” Last night you were upmost of the night with your younger daughter and your own crazy arm pain most of the night. You probably would have taken the pain relief medicine that you have, but your daughter hates the meds prescribed to her yesterday. So you have not taken all of the medications that you should so you are able to be awake with your daughter. And, like clock work, she woke up with a fever at 4:00 am so she will be out of school again. A week of catching up on homework.

You have forgotten what it is like to have a sick kid but you are beyond ready for this girl to get back to feeling better! You are trying really hard to contain germs and stop the spread, but you need to get back to your normal routine! You do not like having to reschedule things and having a kid so sick that the doctor threatens to put her in the hospital for an IV. You are praying she holds down some food and starts the upward trend today.

Illness Can be Exhausting at Any Age

Taking care of yourself when you are not feeling well and tending to a sick child can both be challenging, but one of the real tests of your emotions, stamina, and physical well being is caring for an aging parent. And when you reach the point where you are making plans for end of life care the challenge can be completely exhausting, both mentally and physically. From the first time that you need to find services for safe bathing and light housekeeping through the stage of needing hourly care through the night or around the clock, there are many decisions that need to be make when it comes to helping a parent, grandparent, or other loved one age at home.

Meal planning, meal preparation, caring companionship, and hospice care are but a few of the options that many families fine themselves in need of. And while there are many families who opt for assisted living, nursing homes, and other relocation options, more and more loved ones find themselves looking at the option of keeping their aging family members in a home setting.

Hourly care may initially seem expensive, but if you find yourself looking for a way to make sure that your family members are able to get the care that they need you might find that at in home services is far more affordable than a move to a skilled care facility. As the population of America continues to age, it should come as no surprise that there are a growing number of Americans who are in need of hourly care or other kind of options for their loved ones. In fact, currently more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year. This 29% represents those who spend an average of 20 hours a week providing care for their loved one. This 20 hours, however, makes a small dent in the overall amount of time that must be devoted to an aging parent or grandparent. Often, families also need to look at other options as well. From the hourly care that is provided by overnight services to live-in care that can be needed, the range is significant.

According to the latest national research, 51% of care recipients live in their own home, while another 29% live with their family caregiver, and only 4% live in nursing homes and assisted living communities. No matter where your loved ones live as the reach the age when they can no longer care for themselves, there are many difficult decisions that must be made when it comes to finding the best possible solutions.

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