As the senior population continues to increase, a new breed of caregiver is developing: the millennial caregiver caring for a grandparent. In some ways, these young caregivers face the challenges relevant to everyone who takes on the role. In other ways, they face difficulties specific to their generation. Here are five unique challenges of caring for a grandparent.
1. Limited Career Advancement
When it comes to school and career-related achievements, young caregivers are often outpaced by their peers. As they tend to their ailing grandparents, they may have to take a semester off of college or cut back on their weekly work hours. Some young caregivers have to quit work or school altogether. When it’s time to return to school or the workforce, they may be in a disadvantageous position. They may have gained unique caregiving experience, but this knowledge isn’t always useful in the business world.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Folsom Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Decreased Socialization
As caregiving duties increase, the amount of time caregivers spend with friends tends to decrease. When facing the daily trials of caring for a loved one, even the most experienced caregivers need emotional support from friends. Emotional support is even more crucial for young caregivers, who may not be prepared for the realities of sickness and aging. Young caregivers in need of guidance should consider joining a local support group.
3. Increased Risk of Depression
Even when young caregivers have a trusted circle of friends they can turn to, managing the realities of caregiving can be challenging. They may not be prepared to watch their loved one face mental or physical changes in health, which can increase the risk for developing emotional health conditions like depression and anxiety. Some young caregivers resort to drinking, smoking, or binge eating as a way to manage stress. Before taking on the role of caregiver, be aware of the risks and the warning signs. If you notice changes in your behavior or mental state, seek help.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Folsom families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
4. Healthcare Issues
When young adults become caregivers, they’ll probably need a crash course on health insurance. However, they’re often at a disadvantage when compared with older caregivers, who likely have more personal experience with healthcare. If possible, find an advocate who can guide you on various healthcare benefits and insurance policies.
5. Changes in the Grandchild/Grandparent Relationship
It’s difficult enough when a child-parent relationship transitions to a caregiver-care recipient relationship, and the awkward transition is compounded when the changing relationship is between a grandchild and a grandparent. Many grandparents are incapable of viewing their grandchild as anything but a child, and they may be reluctant to provide pertinent but unpleasant information.
Caring for older adults can be a challenging task, especially when managed alone. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Folsom, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To talk to one of our professional Care Managers, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.