Aging is a natural and “unavoidable” part of life. With aging comes a loss of independence due to weakened organs, skeleton and/or disease. With the loss of independence, no matter to what degree, comes a need to fill that gap with caregiving, which often falls on a family member(s). Overtime the elderly loved one becomes more and more dependent on the family caregiving for daily living. The need for caregiving becomes greater and greater and eventually the difficult decision must be faced, does our loved one need long-term care.
In many families the caregiver(s) want to continue with the task, but all to often the need is greater than what they can provide, often leading to burnout. Once the burnout begins and advances, it causes a bitterness that erodes the family dynamics. This has a very negative impact on all involved, including the aged loved one.
It must be known, there is an abundance of information and resources available to help in the process. Local, state, and federal agencies are organized to help with difficulties. Everyone from Medicare offices, to your state agencies on aging, to your local senior centers can offer help. The more information and support that you take advantage of, the higher the quality of life for both the caregiver(s) and the aging loved one.