The Pros and Cons of Being a Full-Time Caregiver

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Your parent is getting older and can’t manage daily tasks on their own. They need a caregiver. You’re wondering if you could fill that role for them

Before you make a decision, you should take a look at the pros and cons of becoming a full-time caregiver for your parent:

Pros: You Become Closer with Your Parent

Acting as a full-time caregiver will deepen your relationship with your parent, sometimes in unexpected ways. They could be more open and vulnerable with you than ever before. They could share their fondest memories with you. Your bond could be the strongest it’s ever been. 

Pros: You Get a Chance to Give Back

You know that your parents worked hard to make sure that you were healthy, happy and cared for when you were growing up. This is an opportunity for you to repay them for all of that loving attention and sacrifice. They were there for you, and now you can be there for them.  

Cons: Not Having the Right Accommodations 

If your parent is moving in with you so that you can be their full-time caregiver, you might realize that your home wasn’t built with their needs in mind. It has no access for mobility devices — there are steep staircases, tight doorways, awkward floor transitions and no ramps whatsoever. The bedrooms are all on the top floor. The bathrooms have no safety features. 

Having the right accommodations available is important. You can try to renovate your space, or you can arrange for your parent to move into a senior home that prioritizes age in place retirement living by offering numerous accessibility features and professional care options. A great senior nursing home will be ready to address your parent’s needs and more. 

Cons: Putting Everything Else on Hold 

When you take on the role of caregiver, you can’t do much else. Plans for your career, your schooling and hobbies will need to be put on the back-burner while you’re taking care of your parent. Even if you have flexible work hours and understanding bosses, caregiving will take up most of your time and energy. There’s no way to juggle all of these responsibilities. That’s why so many women quit their full-time jobs and put their careers on hold when they decide to tend to their elderly parents. 

If you’re not ready to make this sacrifice, you should look for other elderly care options. 

Cons: Stress

Another problem that comes with a full-time role is stress. Taking care of someone 24/7 can be exhausting, especially because it doesn’t leave you with any time to decompress and take care of yourself. There is a reason why so many adult children go through caregiver burnout after doing chores, running errands and attending appointments without taking a moment to stop and relax. 

Caring for your parent isn’t just physically exhausting — it can be emotionally exhausting, too. If your parent isn’t responding well to your help, it could take a real toll on your well-being. It will be difficult not to take any anger or resistance as a personal slight. 

Now that you know some of the pros and cons that come with being a full-time caregiver for your parent, you can make the right choice for both of you.