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3 reasons why becoming a caregiver is harder than you think

Over the years, you have watched your parents go from vibrant to frail. Now that your mother is gone, your father seems to drift from one place to another.

Your parents never had a plan for their care in later years. You and your siblings do not like the thought of a care facility, but no one is jumping in to take care of him. Your father prefers to stay in a familiar place, and as such, you decide to take him. A caregiver for an aging parent bears burdens you may not have thought about. The following three factors should give rise to a conversation about your dad's future residence.

1. Your work and family schedule

While dad moving in at first may not seem like a big adjustment, it will not always stay that way. Your job or your kids' schedules may not need tweaking in the beginning, but as time goes on, dad's needs may start to increase and demand more time. Have open and honest conversations with doctors about what standard of care your dad is going to need as he ages. Then, keep those same conversations going with your family at home. Everyone may have to pitch in to help at some point.

2. Your physical health

You may take care of yourself, and your health may rank high on the scale now. If something happens to you, even a temporary condition like a sprain or muscle pull may make caring for dad difficult. If he needs help physically, and you cannot do it, you may want to consider hiring a home health aide to come in.

3. Your mental health

Watching a loved one go through extreme physical and mental changes is mentally exhausting. You may find yourself having a particularly short fuse or feeling depressed. It is crucial that you take care of your mental health. Caretakers often experience deep depressions and loneliness.

You may want to reconsider taking on the full-time role of caregiver for an aging parent. To help make your decision, you may want to speak to an attorney well-versed in elder planning needs.

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