In 1950, you had a one in thirty chance of becoming a family caregiver. However, these days there is a one in three chance. The challenges of being a family caregiver often stem from a lack of support and preparation for caregiving tasks. Tasks that once were solely performed by medical professionals are now being done by family members. Furthermore, usually with little to no prior experience. They are managing incontinence, pain, and special diets, to name just a few. All this combined can leave family caregivers feeling emotionally and physically drained.
The advanced levels of care expected of a family caregiver takes its toll. According to the Forbes article, it especially affects those lacking family or a social support network. In addition, escalating health care costs, and shortened hospital stays add to the equation. It all creates the perfect storm for the aging population. As we all know, the stress of caring for an aging family member can put the caregiver in chronically stressful situations. Therefore, depression, caregiver burnout, and anxiety can take their toll.
However, there are resources available for family caregivers. Family Caregiver Alliance has many resources online to aid in your journey. They offer support on topics ranging from safety for dementia patients, to caregiving during the holidays. Additionally, the Family Caregiving Video series on the AARP website is available to anyone. These videos offer support from professionals at AARP as well as UC Davis School of Nursing.
Last but certainly not least, Arizona Elder Care is a great resource. Aging life care professionals, social workers, and licensed fiduciaries are available to assist you in the challenging logistics of caregiving. There is absolutely no need to do this alone. Caring for aging family members can be challenging at times. But the numerous online and in-person resources out there can ease the burden a little.