For many, reaching 50 or 60 can mean retirement and a chance to finally put their feet up – or does it? With ageing populations in many Western countries, coupled with continual financial pressures on public healthcare services, many over 50’s find themselves as the primary carer for an elderly parent or relative. This in itself can become a full time job, trying to juggle complex senior health care with little support or guidance.
According to The Guardian, “One in five people aged 50-64 in the UK are carers to an older family member. A third of the country’s 6.5 million informal carers are aged 65 and over.”
This illustrates the scale at which caring for elderly relatives has hit everyday families. This is not an anomaly – rather it is a likely situation many over 50’s find themselves in.
And the scale at which the UK and other countries are going to need to rely on those caring for relatives is only going to increase. Since 2011, there has been a 35% increase in the number of those aged 75 and over. The realisation of an ageing population is certainly here.
Caring for Elderly Relatives
Caring for elderly relatives or parents shouldn’t just be a recognised struggle for so many. Instead, seeking help and understanding all your options as a family is important.
Below are a handful of useful resources and websites that help give you some guidance on caring for elderly parents.
Things to Remember
Ultimately, caring for elderly parents is something that many of us will face.
The well-being of family will always be a priority but this can often mean putting our own health (both physical and mental) at risk. Caring can become a full time job in itself and this is where getting professional help is often recommended.
Care support, through both private and public health services, is there to help not only elderly citizens, but also their families that may be struggling to balance care with other responsibilities such as work or caring for their own children.
Understanding the benefits of different options is important to find something that works for your family. From moving elderly parents in with you, to arranging care visits from a professional carer, to using a care home, there are benefits to each. Whether the best option is live-in care or joining a care home, families that are open and honest from the beginning will find the whole process of ageing much more manageable.