by: Melanie Farley

Family caregiving is one of the most noble and exhausting roles a person can assume for a loved one. Caregiver burnout is a serious issue with 40-70% of family caregivers reporting clinical depression.

But even with the myriad physical, mental, and emotional struggles that arise, many family caregivers still refuse help. This article explores why some caregivers might refuse help, and what to do about it.

Caregiver Guilt and Fear of Strangers

Many caregivers feel that their special position as a family member requires them to take sole responsibility for their loved one. Asking for help inspires feelings of guilt and inadequacy that are often self-imposed and underserved.

Caregivers may also find it difficult to trust paid caregivers. We’ve all heard horror stories about elderly people in nursing homes, and no one wants poor treatment for their loved ones. 

Financial Struggles

Sometimes caregivers fear asking for help because they are not sure they can afford it. In 2024, the average cost of a home health aide can go up to nearly $6000 per month in Pennsylvania. Nursing homes are even more expensive at nearly $12,000 per month. Adult day services, on the other hand, are much more affordable at around $2400 per month.

So, while home health aides and nursing homes may be out of reach for many caregivers, adult day services offer a much more affordable alternative. 

What To Do

  • Live in the present: Guilt is a toxic emotion that will wear you away from the inside. Caregivers should be reminded that they do all they can for their loved ones. Perhaps a good therapist can help caregivers live in the now, rather than worrying about what might have been.
  • Carefully research and vet providers: Do your homework to find exceptional professional caregivers who will provide your loved ones with the attention they deserve. Look into adult day centers, where your senior can enjoy enriching day time activities and return to their caregivers in the evening.
  • Make the most of government programs and resources: There are quite a few government programs that will help with the cost of professional caregiving. You might consult, or Area Agency on Aging to find specific resources for your situation.

A Final Word…

Family caregiving is one of the most challenging roles a person can assume for a loved one. And, while it might be tempting to go it alone, it is essential that caregivers seek help to avoid burnout. Although it might be difficult to ask for help, a happy, healthy caregiver is what’s best for your loved one, so do not be afraid to seek out support.

Would your senior loved one benefit from expert adult day care in a warm, welcoming environment? The healthcare professionals at Northeast Adult Day Care can provide skilled care, monitoring, and social interaction for your loved one! Reach out to learn more, [email protected].