Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Whether you are caring for a parent, sibling, child, friend or spouse...Whether the disease is alzheimer's, old age, an accident, autism or mental illness you may be suffering from the trials and tribulations of being a caregiver.  Interesting facts about caregiving found on the CDC website.

Family Caregiving: The Facts

  • More than 34 million unpaid caregivers provide care to someone age 18 and older who is ill or has a disability (AARP, 2008).
  • An estimated 21% of households in the United States are impacted by caregiving responsibilities (NAC, 2004).
  • Unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the long-term care (IOM, 2008).
  • The majority (83%) are family caregivers—unpaid persons such as family members, friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative (FCA, 2005)
  • The typical caregiver is a 46 year old woman with some college experience and provides more than 20 hours of care each week to her mother (NAC, 2004).
  • The out-of-pocket costs for caregivers who are caring for someone who was age 50 or older averaged $5,531 in 2007. About 37% of caregivers for someone age 50 and older reduced their work hours or quit their job in 2007 (AARP, 2008).
  • Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%) (NAC, 2004).
  • About 73% of surveyed caregivers said praying helps them cope with caregiving stress, 61% said that they talk with or seek advice from friends or relatives, and 44% read about caregiving in books or other materials (NAC, 2004).
  • About 30% said they need help keeping the person they care for safe and 27% would like to find easy activities to do with the person they care for (NAC, 2004).
  • Half (53%) of caregivers who said their health had gotten worse due to caregiving also said the decline in their health has affected their ability to provide care (NAC, 2006).
  • Caregivers said they do not go to the doctor because they put their family’s needs first (67% said that is a major reason), or they put the care recipient’s needs over their own (57%). More than half (51%) said they do not have time to take care of themselves and almost half (49%) said they are too tired to do so (NAC, 2004).
One of the most rewarding yet hardest things I have had to do in my life is to be a caregiver for a loved one. (and after reading these facts I know I am not alone) There are so many changes that can be very stressful not only on yourself but the whole family unit. Then having to deal with these changes and trying to figure out what to say and how to say it has become an internal battle so much so that sometimes you may feel that you're actually hurting more than helping. You notice that not only do your finances take a hit but your own health starts to decline from all the worry and stress...You start to feel broken...What to do?

Certainly I am not a quitter and always live in faith that things will get better with a whole lot of love and knowledge so thanks to google, the library and my family's help I am finding more and more resources to give hope and strength to caregivers.

A couple of websites that have helpful information is The Family Caregiver Alliance, Brain Injury of America, and CNS Center for Neuroskills.

A quote that was forwarded to me by my sister

"I considered why it might be better to make a mistake---and learn from it ---than strain to get everything right"

and another one
Hope lives on in the person that still believes.

and some I found on pinterest



Helpful Books

Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss and Renewal

Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark



 A few things that I have learned throughout the process.
  • Be a positive role model
  • Remain calm in high stress moments
  • Always put yourself in your loved ones shoes before you react
  • Know your limits and ask for help when needed
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Find for yourself a getaway moment for example a trip to Starbucks, a favorite exercise class, or get lost in a book
  • Have many levels of support systems in place, family, pastor, friends, therapist and support groups. You will need each and every one of them.
  • Never don't ever forget that imperfection is perfectly perfect

    Please leave a comment if you have been inspired by any helpful resources and/or stories related to caregiving...Knowledge is Power. 

1 comment:

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