Providing care for a family member in need is an act of kindness, love, and loyalty. And as life expectancies increase, medical treatments advance, and increasing numbers of people live with chronic illness and disabilities, more and more of us will participate in the caregiving process.
There are many different types of family caregiver situations. You may be taking care of an aging parent or a handicapped spouse. Or perhaps you’re caring for a child with a physical or mental illness. Regardless of your particular circumstances, you’re facing a challenging new role.
If you’re like most family caregivers, you aren’t trained for the responsibilities you now face. And you probably never anticipated you’d be in this situation. You may not even live very close to your loved one. At the same time, you love your family member and want to provide the best care you can. The good news is that you don’t have to be a nursing expert, a superhero, or a saint in order to be a good caregiver. With the right help and support, you can be an effective, loving caregiver without having to sacrifice yourself in the process.
Who needs elderly resources?
Many Americans are now cared for in their own homes or live with family. Few people realize that only 5% of individuals requiring care from another live in nursing homes. It is estimated that between 22.5 and 25 million families care for a frail elder, chronically ill or person with disabilities. As health declines or is changed forever by an accident, it is the family that is most likely to provide assistance. The family, in turn, gets to the point where help is needed… so that the caregiver or caregivers may remain healthy and continue with their responsibilities.
Remember that calling agencies can be frustrating. Busy telephone lines and organizations short on staff or volunteers is the norm. Sometimes there aren’t any services available due to lack of funding or there is a long wait. Workers in community service organizations want to be helpful…give them some time and tell them what you need. And, while you are on the phone finding services, ask about a support group for yourself. Talking with others and sharing your feelings will help you keep on helping your loved one.
We are here to Help.