Caring for an aging spouse, relative, or friend can be one of the most meaningful, joyous, yet overwhelmingly stressful roles we play in life. According to National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months, with most of the care being provided by women over the age of 65, representing total economic value of $470B in 2013. The average duration of a caregiver’s role is 4 years.1
Caregiving tasks can range from assisting in providing basic needs such as shopping, transportation, food preparation, and managing a care recipient’s finances to providing complex chronic care such as feeding, dressing, walking, bathing, nursing medical conditions, managing medications, and navigating healthcare systems. It’s estimated that family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care and that nearly 1 in 4 caregivers spend 41 hours or more per week providing care to a loved one.2
The role of the caregiver is one of the least appreciated, and least talked about aspects of modern life. Caregivers often report high levels of mental stress, loss of income, and lack of social support. Also, many caregivers are unaware of or are overwhelmed by the myriad of resources available to them.
At Redwood Grove Wealth Management, we recognize the challenges facing family caregivers and the essential role they play in their loved ones’ lives. We created the below resource guide to help caregivers find resources to help them in their caregiving role.
Home Alone Alliance: Created a series of family caregiving how-to videos that demonstrate common medical tasks that caregivers are most likely to see. The website also houses dozens of downloadable PDF guides to common caregiving tasks covering managing care recipients’ basic needs, medication administration, all the way up to more complex nursing care.
Alzheimer’s Association: A comprehensive site dedicated to providing support to individuals who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. The site includes a section on getting “Help and Support” for caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
AARPs Family Caregivers: Is a single source for caregivers covering a range of topics from legal issues, care at home, finding long-term care, caregiver support, and connecting caregivers to a wider community.
California Caregiver Resource Center: A network of 11 nonprofit caregiving centers in California that provide services to families and caregivers ranging from counseling and care planning to legal/financial consulting, at low or no cost.
Caregiver Community: AARP’s searchable community forum dedicated to caregiver issues and topics.
Care.com: 22 of the most popular caregiver private Facebook groups connecting caregivers to other individuals in similar situations.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): PACE programs coordinate and provide all needed preventive, primary, acute, and long-term care services so older individuals can continue living in the community.
Being a caregiver is one of the most demanding but selfless jobs we can do in life. Fortunately, we live in an age where there are resources and support available for family caregivers. If you find yourself in a caregiving role and are concerned about finding care for a loved one or yourself, we encourage you to use the above resources and to lean on the thousands of professionals in our communities who have dedicated their lives to supporting caregivers.
Sources: 1 & 2 https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiver-statistics-demographics/