It's becoming more the rule, not the exception, that senior citizens with long-term care needs receive assistance from their children and relatives, instead of home health agencies or skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers.
In fact, of the four out of five seniors who require some type of long-term care, only one gets the care in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.
The other 75 percent are receiving care from a family caregiver.
It is estimated that there are more than 18-25 million adults - or 10 percent of the U.S. population - fulfilling this demanding job today. Responsibilities include keeping loved ones fed, clean and safe, dispensing medications and transporting them to and from appointments - all while juggling full-time careers and families.
According to Amy Moran, admissions director at ManorCare, there are many reasons why children and spouses choose to take on this tremendous responsibility.
"Many want to spend time with their loved one, while others feel a sense of guilt for turning the care of their spouse or parent over to a home health agency or skilled nursing and rehabilitation center," Moran said. "However, these caregivers often face burnout from the all-consuming care requirements, and don't know where to turn for help. That's where we come in."
ManorCare offers short-term respite stays that allow caregivers to go on vacation or a business trip, and have peace of mind knowing that their loved one is being taken care of by caring professionals.
At ManorCare, respite residents can take advantage of the same activities and services as other guests. Most importantly, the family caregivers know they are in a safe, secure setting with 24-hour nursing.
"Whether for a few days or a month, you can take advantage of the respite program at ManorCare," Moran said.