Avoiding Caregiver Burnout. Essential for Health and Well-Being

Millions of Americans provide unpaid caregiving services for their parents despite being unpaid, untrained, and unprepared. These informal caregivers are acing burnout and other health issues.

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Avoiding Caregiver Burnout. Essential for Health and Well-Being
3 Min Read June 24th, 2021 Updated:September 4th, 2021

It is hard to imagine that one in five Americans provide caregiving services to their loved one, often a parent. We all understand that with aging comes elder health issues, but for some reason, many of us are in denial until the day comes that we are thrust into the role of being a caregiver.

Many family caregivers are providing help every day, and this could go on for years. Sometimes family caregivers are "on-call" at any time. There is little time for their careers, other family members, or friends. These caregivers have much higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who are not caregivers due to the emotional and physical strain of their role. 

A family member becomes the default caregiver because unless a person has Long-Term Care Insurance or has low income and assets and qualifies for Medicaid. Insurance, including Medicare, will not pay for these services. 

Unpaid family caregivers face many challenges physically and emotionally. In addition, the family caregiver is untrained and usually unprepared for the role. The care recipient, mom, or dad is generally not happy about this arrangement either but becomes reliant on the help.

What is Caregiver Burnout?

Because of the increasing demands on the caregiver, family caregivers face many health issues of their own, including burnout. The Cleveland Clinic says that caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. In addition, the caregiver can experience attitude changes. If the caregiver doesn't get the help and respite they require, it affects them physically, emotionally, and financially. 

Marissa Conrad, writing in Forbes, talks about the eight ways to avoid caregiver burnout

Avoid Family Being Caregivers in the First Place

One way to prevent your family decades from now experiencing the challenges of being a caregiver is to give them the time to be family - not your caretaker. Planning helps. One way to plan is by putting a Long-Term Care Insurance policy in place well before you retire, ideally in your 40s and 50s when premiums are lower and your health allows you to qualify for the lowest rates. 

You might read that Long-Term Care Insurance expensive; however, premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies, and policies are custom designed. An LTC Insurance specialist can match you with the right coverage with the right insurance company. 

Plus, in 45 states, Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Seek the help of a trusted, licensed, and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you shop for and design the right plan that fits your needs and budget. 

For your mom or dad, if they are already in declining health, or you are already providing care, what can you do? First, seek help - even if it is part-time respite care. Professional care can ease the stress and burden, even if it is on a part-time basis.

If they have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure to submit a claim. Believe it or not, many families delay using a policy. Don't do that. LTC NEWS can offer free help and assistance finding care and submitting an LTC Insurance claim.

Aging happens. All we can do is prepare.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Few of us can ignore the changes we see in our health, body, and mind. But, unfortunately, these changes lead to a higher risk of needing help with daily living activities or even supervision due to memory loss. 

Families are not prepared for the role of being a caregiver, nor are they trained to be caregivers. In addition, you probably know that long-term health care services are expensive and not covered by traditional health insurance, including Medicare and supplements.

The solution for many American families is affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. There are more available options than ever before, and they fit all budgets. However, experts suggest obtaining coverage sooner than later, ideally in your 40s or 50s, before experiencing substantial changes in your health and mobility. 

Research Tools on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers many tools and resources so you can learn about the types of care available, the costs of care today and in the future, insurance and other planning options, and more.

Start by reading The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you current and future costs for long-term health care, how to find care providers, state rules and tax incentives, and more. 

Reverse Mortgages Might Be an Option

If you have a loved one where they already need help, they are ineligible for insurance. However, they can get the funds for care with a reverse mortgage. Today's reverse mortgages can provide you with tax-free funds to pay for an LTC Insurance policy, provide income, or even pay for care. 

Generally, you must be age 62 or older; however, some allow for age 60 and older.

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