Your Estate Plan Should Include Care And Support For Family Caregivers, Too
Aging in place and living close to your children or siblings during retirement is the obvious choice for many members of close-knit families, especially if they are already living with other adult family members besides their spouse while they are still in the workforce. On the surface, relying on your family for care seems less expensive and less stressful than relying on paid caregivers. Being a primary caregiver to an elderly relative whose health is such that he or she needs a lot of assistance with daily tasks is exhausting work, however. It is only possible to spend every day at work and every night at home feeding your elderly parents their dinner and helping them bathe for so long before your own health begins to suffer. Caregiver burnout is a real problem, but it is a preventable one. An Orlando estate planning lawyer can help you build an estate plan where you and your family can be a source of strength for each other instead of a source of exhaustion.
The Lonely Ordeal of Being a Primary Caregiver for a Family Member With Dementia
Seeing a family member suffer from dementia is one of life’s most painful experiences. The person you have known for decades is still there, but the memories you shared with them are not. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 11 million Americans are in the role of caregiver to a family member with dementia; the majority of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia rely on family members for daily care. The stress that these caregivers face is obvious even to casual observers; family caregivers of seniors with dementia are more likely to suffer from clinical depression and other stress-related ailments.
Be Realistic About Your Plans to Rely on Family Support
If you and your spouse have decided always to be each other’s caregiver and not to rely on outside care except in the case of medical emergencies, be realistic. Counseling for family caregivers of dementia patients can help them learn strategies to avoid becoming frustrated and causing further stress to the patient. Positive Approach to Care is one provider of such counseling. While you are both healthy, be honest with yourselves and each other about the help you might need in your role as a caregiver. Don’t expect your children to move across the country if one of you falls ill. If being near your children is your plan, start now, and respect the fact that no one, not even your children, can spend 24 hours a day providing care without a break.
Contact Gierach and Gierach About Preparing for Aging in Place for Better or for Worse
Caring for an elderly family member in poor health can be the ultimate act of love, but you need to plan for how difficult this task is. An estate planning lawyer can help you plan for an aging in place setup where no one is overwhelmed with caregiving tasks. Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.