Have you ever considered the pros and cons of focusing all of your attention on your mom? Providing your parent’s care is a generous, loving act. But, it’s not ideal to focus so much on your mom that you stop focusing on your own care needs. When you care for your mom, she’s familiar with you, so it helps her maintain a higher level of comfort while relying on someone else. You’re also already familiar with her likes, dislikes, temperament, and habits. While there are many pros to helping a parent as a caregiver, there are also cons that you need to consider.
It’s Not Always Cost-Effective for You
Do you think that caring for your mom is the most cost-effective alternative? It may be affordable for her, but what is it costing you? Many unpaid family caregivers have to quit jobs or reduce their work hours, which impacts their budgets.
Plus, if you’re not working, you won’t qualify for health insurance coverage through an employer. You have to pay for private health insurance, which can be expensive. Finally, you’re risking your own retirement fund when you reach the age of retirement.
Think ahead to your retirement. Have you saved up enough? If you find yourself in need of care services, what happens when you don’t have the money saved up due to years of being a dedicated family caregiver?
You Could Risk Your Own Health
If you start ignoring your own mental, emotional, and physical needs, you put your health at risk.
Suppose you’re so sick of taking your mom to all of her appointments that you just cannot stand the thought of driving to the medical center again.
You’re due a check-up, but you push it off. A year passes, and you realize you’re overdue, but it’s hard to find the time or motivation. A year is a long time if there are underlying health issues that you’re unaware you have.
Some common chronic health conditions don’t have noticeable warning signs. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are examples. The best way to know if they’re an issue is by seeing your doctor regularly.
It’s Physically and Mentally Exhausting
You have plenty of money and can afford to care for your mom. You’re not worried about your health. Have you considered the mental and physical strain of providing your mom’s care?
If your mom needs help with transfers from the shower to a wheelchair, do you have the physical strength to lift her? If not, what happens if you strain a muscle? Do you have a backup plan?
Caring for your mom can also be mentally exhausting. Like anyone, your mom will have good and bad days. On the bad days, she might be argumentative and even verbally abusive. If you’re not used to her being cruel, it will drain you.
There’s a great way to create a balance as a family caregiver. Help your mom as much as you are mentally and physically able, but learn to take breaks and take care of yourself. Home care services like respite care are an excellent option.
While you take a break and go on vacation or take a day off, a home care aide spends the day helping your mom. Your mom isn’t alone, but you have time to de-stress and return refreshed and ready to get back to work.