National Family Caregiver Month
Join Family Eldercare as we continue to celebrate the tremendous contributions of more than 65 million sons, daughters, spouses and other family members who are caregivers in the U.S. As Rosalyn Carter said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
Who is a caregiver? A caregiver is someone who assists a loved one when they are no longer able to care for themselves, due to illness, disability or age. At Family Eldercare, we work with adult children, partners, neighbors and family friends who have all lent a hand in helping their loved ones age as independently as possible. Some simply identify themselves as a husband, wife, daughter or niece, rather than as a caregiver. While they have many faces, according to the National Family Caregivers Association, the typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women and more than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
Day in and day out, family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role on the care team. No one else is in a better position to ensure continuity of care. Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipients’ medicine regimen; they are the most knowledgeable about the treatment regimen; and they understand best the dietary and exercise regimen (NFCA).
However, caregiving is a stressful job, especially for those caring for multiple generations. Adding caregiving into one’s already busy life often leads to physical and mental stress. Caregivers may sacrifice their health by skipping their own medical appointments and not making time for themselves. An important part of remaining healthy while providing care to a loved one is identifying your role as the caregiver. Over 90% of family caregivers become more proactive about seeking resources and skills they need to assist their care recipient after they have self-identified (NFCA). Family Eldercare offers resources and support to family and informal caregivers through respite care (temporary care for the older adult to allow the caregiver short-term relief), geriatric counseling and support groups. Respite time, or a break, is critical for family members so that they can take care of their medical needs, errands and simply rest.
Please join us in honoring Family Caregivers for their selfless dedication to bringing love, comfort and safety to seniors across the nation. For ideas on how to show your appreciation for a family caregiver, visit our Facebook page.