Caregiving is Hard

The Truepoint Aging Task Force team collaborated with Cheryl Jeffers from TheKey to create this blog post on caregiving. TheKey is a national organization committed to helping older adults live well in their own homes as they age, improving the quality of life for their clients—and those who love them.

Providing transportation to medical appointments, shopping for groceries, vacuuming, assisting with bathing, meals, or medication reminders—these are just a few examples of the tasks caregivers undertake. If you’ve ever done any of these for a loved one, you’re a caregiver. 

Our nation is aging, with the ratio of older adults to working-age adults projected to rise. By 2035, older adults are expected to outnumber children under 18 for the first time in U.S. history. By 2060, there will be about 15 million more adults over 65 than children.

Family caregivers play a crucial role, often facing overwhelming challenges. The financial burden can be significant, as caregiving makes it harder to work full-time or part-time, or to return to work after taking time off, especially for caregivers who are caring for their own children in addition to an aging parent. 

Two key aspects of caregiving are planning for financial challenges and making time for yourself, the caregiver. 

Planning for financial challenges 

Financial stress is a major burden for caregivers. According to the Genworth 2023 Cost of Care Survey, the national average for a Home Health Aide is $6,292/month, and for a private nursing care room, it’s $9,733/month. These costs, while varying by location, can be substantial for both care recipients and family caregivers.

Additionally, a 2015 study by the National Association of Caregiving and AARP found that 6 in 10 caregivers changed their work situations to manage caregiving responsibilities, reducing funds for the caregiver’s own living expenses and future savings. 

To understand financial security, it’s crucial to model the implications of long-term care, whether with a home health care aide or a nursing home. This can spark necessary but challenging conversations within families about duties, available resources, and final wishes. A trusted financial advisor can offer valuable support in these discussions, providing not only financial guidance but also an objective viewpoint on what is often an emotional and overwhelming topic. 

Making time for yourself  

“Self-care is a priority; a necessity—not a luxury,” said L.R. Knost. This is especially true for caregivers, though it can be one of the hardest things to prioritize. It’s challenging to look beyond daily caregiving tasks when there are endless meals to prepare, showers to assist with, or doctor’s appointments to manage. 

Prioritizing your health, needs, and feelings isn’t selfish. How can you keep providing care and support when you yourself are depleted? 

Approximately 75% of caregivers are female, with an average age of 49, and caregiving often takes a toll on their health. Caregivers are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and reliance on prescription medications compared to others in their age group. 

Many caregivers don’t ask for or accept the support they need because they don’t see themselves as caregivers; they’re just doing what needs to be done as a friend, family member, or spouse. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to take a break. 

Self-care can take many forms, from simple activities like taking walks, reading, or napping, to seeking professional support. Laughter can also be incredibly beneficial, helping to relieve tension and buoy spirits for both the caregiver and their loved one. 

Self-care and laughter rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul, but they’re not always easy to prioritize. Sharing your experiences with others can be a first step towards better self-care, benefiting both you and your care recipient. 

It can’t be overstated what a great undertaking caregiving for an ill or aging loved one can be. In the midst of navigating the emotional, physical, and mental challenges of caregiving, remember to think also of your own health and wellness—and remember that a relationship with a trusted advisor may relieve some of the natural stress of this season of life. If you’d like to speak with someone on the Truepoint team about your situation, contact us today.

Truepoint Wealth Counsel is a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser (RIA). Registration as an adviser does not connote a specific level of skill or training. More detail, including forms ADV Part 2A & Form CRS filed with the SEC, can be found at Neither the information, nor any opinion expressed, is to be construed as personalized investment, tax or legal advice. The accuracy and completeness of information presented from third-party sources cannot be guaranteed.

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