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Senior Service Directory Blog

Archive for March, 2011

Boomer Women and the Burden of Elder Care

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, 65% of older adults who need elder care rely solely on family and friends for assistance.  It is also very interesting to note that women perform 50% more elder care duties than men and more than 70% of the most demanding caregiving activities – according to Laurel Kennedy, president of Age Lessons.

The Caregiving Nature in Most Women

Although many women seem ready and willing to take on the care of their elderly parents – or are even expected to – the fact of the matter is that most of them are reaching their tipping points.  Women have a caregiving nature about them, but in this case, it may be too much to handle.  Boomer women are stuck caring for their young children, still supporting their older children, and providing caregiving duties to their senior parents.  And…this is all in addition to their full time jobs, finding time for their spouses and of course, much needed time for themselves.

Siblings and Elder Care

The reality is that in so many family situations, siblings don’t do enough to help one another in sharing the responsibilities to care for their parents.  Typically one sibling is left to do the bulk of the work – and usually it’s a woman.  Such women often experience a lowered sense of overall happiness, added stress, frustrations and possibly even depression.

What Can Be Done?

Boomer women caregivers can alleviate some of their burden by:

  1. Arranging a family discussion to develop a contract or agreement which will clearly outline the caregiving tasks that must be done, and which siblings will be assigned to each task.
  2. Taking advantage of community resources which offer counselling, useful information, assistive devices for the home, personal support, and respite care.
  3. Hiring outside services to assist with household chores, grass cutting, snow removal, etc.
  4. As elderly parents’ conditions worsen, consider adult day care or the use of professional in-home caregivers even on a part-time basis.
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