TreatingThe “Invisible Patient” With Senior Home Care Solutions
If you’re caring for an aging spouse, parent, or friend in Katy, Texas, odds are good that you are already suffering as the “invisible patient.” And that puts both you and your loved one at risk.
Research shows that informal caregivers face overlapping physical, financial, mental, and psychosocial health challenges that manifest in the form of late-life depression, social isolation, and feelings of extreme caregiver burden (Adelman et al., 2014, p. 1053). And that’s saying nothing of the way that caregiver burden negatively affects the quality of care your loved one receives.
The Journal of the American Medical Association emphasizes the clinician’s role in recognizing caregiver burden when treating patients or caregivers; in their view, the onus is on the healthcare professional to provide tools for assessing caregiver burden and recommending interventions to prevent or mitigate these risks.
And yet, too often, the needs of informal caregivers are made invisible next to those of the aging parent, spouse, or friend for whom they are caring.
Today’s post explores the caregiver burden that “invisible patients” face, and explains how ABC SW Houston’s (Katy) senior home care services provide relief for elderly Texans and their families.
Challenges Facing Informal Senior Home Care Providers
First, let’s spotlight some of the challenges that informal caregivers in Katy, Texas are up against.
In term of emotional health, most informal caregivers endure persistently high stress levels due to the fact that they are untrained and may feel ill prepared to carry out caregiving tasks, and because their caregiver role often brings them in conflict with their elderly care recipient. Spousal and familial caregivers are particularly high-risk because they have little choice in taking on the caregiving role, and are typically “less aware of the toll that caregiving is taking on them” (p. 1053).
Informal care also leaves little time for the caregiver to pursue their own interests, goals, and dreams. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the average informal caregiver spends 20.5 hours per week providing care, though 1 in 5 spends more than 40 hours per week assisting aging parents, friends, or spouses (Adelman et al., 2014, p. 1053). That’s a part or full-time job – and you’re paying to take it.
Indeed, the “invisible patient” also takes a major financial hit, with the economic value of informal care shown to dramatically exceed formal healthcare costs. For example, the estimated costs of informal dementia caregiving are currently estimated at $56,290 annually per patient (Adelman et al., 2014, p. 1053).
Are you At Risk Of Informal Home Caregiver Burden?
The Journal of the American Medical Association highlights the following risk factors for informal senior home care burden:
- Residing with the care recipient
- Social isolation
- Financial stress
- Higher number of hours spent caregiving
- Lack of choice in being a caregiver
All of these risk factors are meant to trigger referrals for senior home care assessments.
Mitigating Caregiver Burden Risk With Senior Home Care Solutions
Fortunately, ABC SW Houston (Katy) eliminates senior home care risk factors for caregivers while improving quality of life for care recipients.
Our home-care and assisted living solutions are affordable and fully customizable to your budget; they eliminate social isolation through community involvement and companionship services; they cut down the total hours the “invisible patient” spends caregiving; and they give you the choice of when and where senior home care should occur.
If you are struggling to provide informal care for a loved one in Katy, Texas, contact ABC SW Houston (Katy) to learn about the senior home care options that fit your budget.
Adelman, R. D., Tmanova, L. L., Delgado, D., Dion, S., & Lachs, M. S. (2014). Caregiver burden: A clinical review. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(10), 1052-1060.