Family Caretakers: A Full Time Job

Whether it’s the down economy or a feeling of obligation, it seems the trend in caregiving is shifting from assisted living facilities to home care. My notion was confirmed this morning through statistics I found on the FamilyEducation website concerning family caretakers. Of the 65 and older population that require daily assistance, 1.6 million are living in the community compared to the 1.5 million who reside in nursing homes. From the population of family members who are caregivers, 64% still work full or part time.

Becoming a caretaker can overtake your personal life, cause excess stress, and often provide little recognized reward. Caregivers can easily become burned out without the proper education and support. Remember: this is not something you should try to bear alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, seek support and reward yourself with breaks. Ask family and friends to babysit, find community resources (adult day care, transportation services, and senior centers), and confide your feelings in others through caregiver support groups or a couselor. Educate yourself as much as possible on your loved one’s condition and do not be afraid to reach out or confide in their physician.