Yesterday, we talked a bit about statistics, and how they rarely provide any sort of personalized guidance when it comes to deciding what is the best course of action for a loved one’s senior care. Today, we’re going to look at a more specific statistic, and explain why just because this particular stat seems like a good thing doesn’t actually mean that it is.
In the United States, those receiving end of life care or hospice care have, on average, 2.5 individuals giving them personalized attention. Seems like a good thing, right? On the surface, it really is. This is a difficult time, both for those in need of care, their families, and those that are acting as caregivers, both professional and family.
But, if you dive into the personal stories behind the statistics, you will find that the people acting as family caregivers for someone in hospice care are far more likely to not have a support system in place when they need assistance. Acting as a family caregiver is a very admirable and honorable role, but these are the same people who are most likely to not have family in place when they need senior care. The need for hospice and palliative services is great, and it serves an extremely important purpose. But if the people who are fulfilling these roles do not have the care that they need, it ends up harming people.
This information was examined in a recent issue of the journal Health Affairs, and it sheds some light on how we can better help the people that help people.
It’s also worth noting that as someone ages, their caregiving needs increase. What was adequate for someone at age 75 becomes negligent for someone that is 90. Assisted living may be perfect for someone at one stage of their care, but as they develop more needs, something more intensive is necessary. Hospice care goes a long way toward meeting these needs, but it’s important to know that hospice or palliative care doesn’t necessarily need to be performed within a designated hospice care home. This can also be done as a type of in-home care. If you are looking for a versatile type of care that ensures individualized attention to the person you love, this is a strong option for your family.
So, if you have an older parent who is helping their spouse with end of life care, it’s important that you be of help to them, or at least ensure that they have a support system in place. Being a caregiver is tough work, and having care set up for those that provide care can be a great way to ensure that these intensive services have the structure that they need to continue.
And if you act as a family caregiver, it’s important that you take care of yourself and make sure that you have a support system in place, just in case you need it. Caregiver burnout is a real thing, and it can be devastating. If you care for yourself, you can do a better job of caring for others.