The Struggle of Family Caregivers in an Aging America

The Struggle of Family Caregivers in an Aging America
Photo by Centre for Ageing Better / Unsplash

A Difficult Decision

After spending years immersed in work abroad, the narrative took an unexpected turn as I found myself grounded in Southern California. This shift wasn't fueled by nostalgia, but rather by the necessity to care for my ailing, octogenarian parents.

The pivotal moment came when my sister and I made the life-altering decision to purchase a single-story house, recognizing that our parents could no longer care for each other. This marked the beginning of a challenging journey, with my brother moving in and my sister, a nurse, commuting monthly from the Bay Area. The decision to become primary caregivers unfolded not out of convenience but out of a deep commitment to the well-being of our parents.

Round-the-Clock Care

Our lives transitioned abruptly from successful professionals in our respective fields to the demanding role of round-the-clock caregivers in our late 50s. Following the passing of my father earlier this year, the responsibility of caring for my ailing mother became a shared duty among my siblings and me. The meticulous coordination of schedules became paramount, balancing caregiving responsibilities with work and personal commitments.

This unexpected shift in roles has taken a toll on our mental and emotional well-being, as the once-defined boundaries of our professional lives blurred into a constant state of caregiving. Despite being part of the 38 million unpaid caregivers in the United States, a sense of overwhelming isolation pervades, accompanied by challenges of identity loss and strained relationships.

Read more