So you’ve become the primary caregiver for your family member and you have a lot of responsibility on your own. Everyone seems to be available when things are going well, but when there is trouble or help needed, they are suddenly too busy.

Your relatives are putting their jobs, kids, hobbies and themselves first before their parents who need their help. Most people believe that your parents raise you as a baby before you can take care of yourself, and then you are to help them in return when they are old and can’t take care of themselves anymore. What should you do if you are the primary or only caregiver for your family member and you need in home care help?

What does a caregiver do?

A caregiver is someone that assists someone else’s daily needs due to a disability, a disease or declining health. A caregiver can assist with basic health needs depending how severe of help they need, or with things like driving them places or grocery shopping for them.

Caregiving is time consuming work. Most of the time, families are doing the caregiving. It can be financially taxing, as well as physically and emotionally stressful. Family members that are doing the caregiving typically don’t think of themselves as doing a job but rather fulfilling an obligation because it’s the right thing to do. In fact, the caregiver’s health may start to be impacted as they increase their levels of stress and feel the weight of the burden increase on their shoulders alone.

How did I become the only caregiver?

Many times the rest of the family is so burdened with their personal responsibilities that they simply don’t have the time to cope with and assist with the family member in need. One person ends up taking on the primary responsibility. Research shows that 80% of the time a caretaker is caring for a family member; it’s a daughter taking care of her parent.

The key to handling this task alone is to communicate to the rest of the family your feelings. Let them know you are frustrated and overwhelmed. They may not realize the burden you’ve taken on because you were first to step up to the plate. They may also think you are the most available or live the closest so that you would be the natural first choice. You need to communicate to them that it’s not alright to assume this is the situation.

If you feel overly burdened by being the only caretaker for a family member, consider hiring a Select Home Care, your  Home Care professionals.