We all expect to age. We expect others will age as well. The amount of care needed for an aging loved one will still come as a surprise. To see their physical and mental health completely change as a result of aging can be extremely difficult. Someone who once cared for you, can no longer care for themself.
The pressure is on families to provide care needed to maintain their quality of life.
With the COVID pandemic, life for seniors has become even more uncertain. The isolation and loss of contacts play a huge toll on their mental health. It’s expected for aging people to worry about their physical health. But COVID has put more attention on health concerns. As well as financial strains from changes to the economy. Many people have been forced to retire early.
The Cost of Caregiving
When seniors lose some control in their life, loved ones often take on the responsibility to provide that for them. For example the ability to drive, make meals, go where they want to go, and do the things they love.
Medicare doesn’t cover long-term daily care in a senior’s home or a nursing home. The average cost of in-home care in the United States is $4,290 a month. That number rises to 7 or 8 thousand when considering a nursing home option with a nurse. This is simply out of reach for many families. If you qualify for Medicaid, you may find yourself on a waitlist for 3 years. This puts the pressure and responsibility of caring for seniors on their families.
The Invisible Work
AARP research showed that about 1 in 5 adults are unpaid family caregivers. This number will surprise many people due to a caregiver’s work going unnoticed by society. This work includes:
- monitoring prescriptions
- preparing meals
- juggling finances
- providing transportation to and from medical appointments.
Caregivers are not appreciated or discussed because they are family. Labor to take care of family is often not considered work. The truth is, caring for an aging parent becomes a new job and significantly changes the caregiver’s life.
Some people are forced to watch their aging parents and loved ones struggle from far away. If they live far away they will do whatever they can to help, but it’s often not enough. Whether caregivers live in the house with their seniors or across the country, they need our help. It takes a village to care for our seniors, and you are a part of that village.
KSC Provides Support for Seniors and Struggling Caregivers
KSC provides services and support dedicated to improving seniors’ lives. Seniors deserve our respect and attention. We need more people turning their hearts toward seniors. There’s a load put on family members to navigate their senior’s needs on their own. They need our help. You can be a part of the movement to take care of our most vulnerable.
KSC focuses on seniors by providing services including:
We connect seniors with new friends to provide regular contact through services like Home Meal Delivery and Well Being Checks. Loneliness causes depression and can have a significant impact on health. Everybody needs friendship and connection to thrive.
Home Meal Delivery
We provide meals to seniors in their homes with our meal delivery service. This can take a huge load off of caregivers who are trying to keep up with the senior’s meal times.
We connect seniors with someone who will regularly contact and check up on them. This is especially helpful when the senior’s family lives far away. Knowing that somebody is aware of your senior’s situation is a load off any caregiver’s back.
Information and Advocacy
Here at KSC, we’re a voice for seniors and caregivers. The struggle can easily go unseen and forgotten. We also provide information on health services and vaccines to seniors. We work to not only connect seniors with information but to connect people with seniors.
Get Involved and Support KSC
Nobody can take on this work alone. As a community, we can do so much. Sign up to volunteer to help us provide one of our many services and be a part of our mission to help seniors in Kane County. As a non-profit, donations help us to provide these services.
Without the help of our community, seniors will suffer and caregivers will take on too much. Our community cannot grow when we don’t take on the responsibility to care for our most vulnerable. The caregivers struggling to do it alone are the people you see every day. What they are juggling in their personal life is not displayed. We need to lighten the load. By doing so, we’re all made stronger together.