Caring for an aging loved one? Feeling empowered is likely not that common. But, what would it be like to feel empowered?
When someone is empowered, they have the authority to do something. They are strong and confident. They control their own life and claim their rights.
Now that's amazing! If you don't feel this way, don't feel bad. You're facing a lot of barriers to empowerment. Nearly everyone caring for an aging parent faces the following barriers, on the regular.
Not enough time. Care tasks take on average 21 hours a week to tackle. That's a part-time job!!
Not enough money. Families with an aging loved one who requires long-term care make tough decisions about money. Families are spending on average $1000 per month out-of-pocket on care needs. Families are spending down legacy assets and are faced with hard decisions about what to do when money runs out.
Juggling competing priorities. Most people caring for an aging loved one are balancing child care, a career, and more, with elder care tasks.
Experiencing an emotional rollercoaster. Common emotions that accompany caregiving include stress, overwhelm, helplessness, guilt, anger, resentment, and loss of control.
Experiencing inequities. Care doesn't impact all people the same. Women are hit harder with care responsibilities than men. Women of color are impacted the hardest. Specific demographics face individual and unique challenges related to care as well.
Become more empowered with these steps.
Empower Yourself with Connection
I can't tell you how many times I've heard "I feel so alone." Care is isolating.
There are an estimated 53 million people across the U.S. caring for a loved one within their family unit. These individuals connect in groups all over the country, but you have to know they exist so you can connect with one. This is the #1 way to not feel so alone. Here are some great groups. Check them out and join one (or more!).
Empower Yourself with Knowledge
It is important that you know the medical story for your loved one. Here are important things you should know pertaining to your loved one's diagnosis.
What is your loved ones' diagnosis(es)? If not clear, what assessments are needed to know this?
What does the diagnosis mean for the care they need? What therapies are needed? Which require professional caretakers?
How could care needs change with progression of the diagnosis?
You likely saw this coming, but you also need to know financial and legal information to care for someone. Here are important financial and legal questions to ask.
How much do care needs cost right now?
How much would it cost to add additional, or professional, care so we have ALL the care we need? (this blog might help)
How much money is there, in total?
Can we make a list of accounts and assets to start tracking our care spending?
Which financial assets do we really want to protect?
Are important legal documents in place to protect wishes and assets?
Should we put a Family Care Agreement in place to carry the family through care changes?
Empower Yourself with a Team
You were never meant to do this alone! To balance and show up for all the competing priorities in your life, delegate. You need to put together a team to help with those tough care questions. When it comes to adding professionals to your team, you want good collaborators. Here are some resources to help you find collaborative members for your care team.
And add us!
Empower Yourself with Technology
There are great tech tools out there to help you communicate, organize, delegate, and more!
Empower Yourself by Knowing Your Value
You're providing a vital role for your loved one. That's a big deal! Caring for a loved one is an honor, it can also be really intense. You should test your "Intensity Score". This gives you a concrete idea of how intense your care role is, and can help you lower the intensity with support.
© 2023 Elder Care Solutions
Here are some products to get you on the empowered path!
Keep track of appointments, care tasks, and stay more organized in your care role.
Organize those important documents with this easy-to-find file folder.
Find all your financial solutions for paying for long-term care with our easy-to-use online platform!