I hope you had a productive week, if you are a Veteran than I thank you for your service. We are headed into the holiday season and for most of us that equals, food, family and friends. For others that means taking care of their loved ones that aren’t able to take care of themselves.
Did you know that November was National Family Caregivers Month? Honestly I didn’t know either until I did an interview with Caregiving Expert Amy Goyer. Amy Goyer is an expert in aging and families, specializing in family caregiving and multigenerational issues. She is the author of Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. She shared a wealth of knowledge with me and I’m passing it on in these five tips.
I have my own thoughts and experiences on care-giving but I did a little bit of crowd sourcing on Facebook to see what folks really thought. I loved their honesty. Naturally the women responded immediately. I tagged some guys to get the male perspective.
Q: If you had to take care of your parents or mate would you wipe their butt? Would you give them a bath?
40 million Americans are caring for an adult relative or friend, but many of those people don’t even think what they are doing is considered care-giving.
- 1 in 4 caregivers is a Millennial (between the ages of 18 and 34)
- 40% of caregivers are men
- The estimated value of family caregiving in the U.S. is $470 billion.
- Family caregivers spend 18 hours per week providing care like bathing, dressing, preparing meals, administering medications, driving to doctor visits or paying bills.
- 68% of caregivers have used their own money to provide care and 39% of caregivers report feeling financially strained.
- 60% of family caregivers provide care for an adult while still being employed outside the home.
- More than half of caregivers say they feel overwhelmed by the amount of care their family member needs.
- Talk to the doctor, know what your loved one is up against.
- Talk about their final wishes.
- Do you know if they want to be resuscitated if something happened?
- How often will you communicate with the doctors?
- Do you know the details of their ailment?
- Talk to the children in our lives, give them the right amount of information for their age.
- How do they want to be cared for?
- Knowing the wishes of your loved one.
- Having all legal documents in order. ex. living trust
- Have copies of their medical history
- Is the home safe to reside in with medical difficulties?
- Schedule Help
- Plan in advance, don’t wait until your loved one is ill.
- Determine your resources.
- You have to take care of yourself FIRST.
- Sleep #1 Priority
- See a doctor on a regular basis
- Eat 3 meals a day
- Don’t get depressed or burned out.
- Long term care insurance.
- AARP Tools
- Retirement Planners
- How to Calculate your Social Security
- Research, Research, Research.
- As Family & Friends to assist.
- Allow your kids to help, give them responsibility beyond their age.
- Financial Power of Attorney
5. Rest & Relaxation
- Schedule time away to relax and decompress. Even if its only 5-10 mins.
- Do something unrelated to caregiving.
- Plan a vacation
- You must reset and recharge to keep going.