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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Who Cares for the Caregiver?

Many times the caregiver role was not one they neither expected nor intended to play. Family caregivers especially, may feel an obligation to care for their aging loved ones to the point of harming their own health. But it can become dangerous and quickly. They start out not eating enough, getting less sleep and in the end stress themselves out further. Becoming consumed in their newly found caregiving duties, family caregivers don’t often stop to think about what happens after their own children are grown, and those they’ve spent so much time caring for have passed on. In the end, who cares for the caregiver?

            There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. According to USA Today, in one out of every three households in the U.S., at least one member is a considered a caregiver. The need to give care and receive care is in our nature. But at the same time, caregivers cannot forget that as they help others they must also take care of themselves. After all one day, they too will be the ones in need of a caregiver.

            Caregivers especially, should make a long-term care plan for themselves and make sure that finances and legal issues are in order while they are still young and able to do so. In a perfect world, there would always be willing younger family members to take on the caregiver role and care for the caregiver who is no longer able to care for themselves. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and in many family situations this is not the case. Children, caught up in their own lives are not always so willing to take on the tough role of a family caregiver.

Often in family situations, one child will step up and take on the caregiving role because the others would not. This not only makes this child the sole caregiver but it also leaves them without much family support.

            As they continue to dutifully provide care to their loved ones, family caregivers need to recognize that they may need someone watching out and caring for them even before they reach their older years. You must be prepared for the uncertain. We can help you ensure you have a stable future and a well thought out plan.


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