Coping with caregiving – it’s OK to ask for help

Senior couple with man in wheelchair next to carNearly 40 percent of Americans — 65 million — are caregivers. About 23 percent of those caregivers are between the ages of 45 and 64, and 16 percent are over the age of 65, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Another study by the Urban Institute revealed that people age 75 and older provide more hours of caregiving than any other age group.

As the number of caregivers in the nation climbs, more agencies are responding with services. They’re designed to support caregivers who are considered at increased risk for physical, emotional, and financial strains because of their increased responsibilities.

Here are some ways you can find support while caring for someone:

Peer support
A Rand study showed that talking to someone in a similar situation can significantly reduce stress. The U.S. Department of Defense initiated a Caregiver Peer-to-Peer Support program, which is available at numerous military bases. You also can sign up for support webinars at www.militaryonesource.mil and search the word caregiving. Many communities offer similar programs.

Meal programs
Some agencies deliver meals to those who are housebound. Check for programs like Meals on Wheels, a volunteer-based organization that provides meals in more than 5,000 communities nationwide.

Faith-based organizations
Churches, synagogues, and other faith-based groups often have programs to help those in need in the community.

Adult day centers
Some communities have facilities that provide services to adults who are unable to be independent. They allow the adults to socialize outside of the house during the day as well as provide caregivers time to rest. Other organizations offer a wide variety of services, including transportation, grocery shopping, and housekeeping.

Search the Internet for “caregiving help” or “caregiving support” to find resources in your community. Also, don’t hesitate to ask relatives, neighbors, and friends for help to ensure that you have occasional time to take care of yourself.

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One comment

  1. Thank you for posting this information. Caregiving is a full-time job but also one that yields much personal joy.

    Like

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