Who are Caregivers?
Caregivers (also know as "care partners") are "relatives, friends or neighbors who provide assistance to a patient with a chronic illness who need support in their health care journey.
A caregiver is a paid or unpaid member of a person's social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Since they have no specific professional training, they are often described as informal caregivers.
A recent study says that 26.5% of all American adults today are family caregivers.
Are You a Caregiver?
Many don’t identify with the term “caregiver,” assuming that only applies to professional home and health aides and nurses, or that the caregiving duties they already do are merely part of being a dutiful son, daughter, husband, wife or friend.
But while you might not realize it, you may actually already be a caregiver.
Help a loved one get dressed?
Take a loved one to doctors’ appointments?
Help a loved one manage their medications?
Spend time researching information about a loved one’s health condition?
Help a loved one balance their checkbook, pay their bills or offer any other assistance with their finances?
Take time off work to help a loved one?
Call to check in on how a loved one is doing?
Change plans to be around to help a loved one?
Stay up at night worried about a loved one?
Shop for groceries or prepare meals for a loved one?
Neglect your own needs or give up activities you enjoy to spend time helping a loved one?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are indeed a caregiver. And if most or all of these tasks are familiar to you, you are a caregiver who may need some support.
Caregivers are constantly attentive of the needs of the loved ones they are caring for, but all too often can neglect their own needs. In order to give your loved one the best possible care, you have to make sure you remain healthy and do not take on too many responsibilities and risk burnout.
Caregiver Checkup (caregivingmetrowest.org)
Caring for a loved one can be one of most daunting challenges you will undertake. It can also be one of the most rewarding. But to help things go as positively as possible for both yourself and your care recipient, it is crucial to understand the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Here is a brief rundown of what to expect and what you need to prepare for over the course of your caregiving journey:
Becoming A 'Sudden' Caregiver for a Loved One
Whether due to accident or illness, navigating this unfamiliar world can be daunting.
What to Do if You Suddenly Become a Caregiver (aarp.org)
Resources for Caregivers and their Families
Information for those either just beginning their caregiving journey or veteran caregivers looking for more tools and resources online.
AARP Resources for Caregivers and their Families (www.aarp.org)
Finding the Right Long-Term Care for Your Loved One
Weigh the options to make the best possible choice.
Finding the Right Long-Term Care for Your Loved One (aarp.org)
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