Most people that find themselves in the difficult situation of having to provide for their senior or elderly parents do not think of themselves as a Family Caregiver. They simply think of themselves as a loving son or daughter taking care of an aging family member. You are not alone:
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, in 2009 there were more than 65 million people in the US providing private family caregiving services. This equates to almost 30% of the population.
A typical family caregiver is almost 50 years old, married, and holding down a job. She is caring for her almost 70 year old mother.
Family caregiving, on average, consumes about 20 hours a week, and 13% of caregivers spend over 40 hours per week.
Care for Senior was created as a resource for you to find valuable and relevant information so that you may find the answers you need to help make the best decisions for you and your your family.
There's a whole range of services a family caregiver could provide. They can perform highly specialized health care, dedicated personalized care for the elderly, rehabilitating patients, pre and post natal care to mother and child and the very basic human companionship.
The first thing that comes to people's mind when talking about caregivers is elderly care. Indeed, a lot of the senior elderly in our society enjoys personal care such as bathing, grooming, meal preparations, feeding, oral care and most importantly the companionship of highly efficient caregivers. But these professionals are also trained to perform other services.
Some home caregivers are trained to provide medical care to homebound patients. They can operate highly sensitive and complex medical apparatus, administer medications and see to the patient's personal care.
Rehabilitating patients like those recovering from surgical procedures or unexpected strokes can also benefit from the care of a private caregiver. They need someone who will not only see to their personal care but one who will also provide medical assistance and understanding.
Active and dynamic people who are either chair bound, bed-ridden or held down in any way by an unwanted disease aren't the most agreeable people there is. They need the understanding and constant care of a professional. A person to encourage and gently lead them back to the world of the healthy is essential to fast recovery. New mothers, especially first time moms can definitely appreciate having a private caregiver to assist her as she takes on a new role, motherhood.
Having someone handy to care of miscellaneous tasks will give the mother more time to focus on the most important, her baby. People suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's will be on good hands with a professional caregiver. Not only will they provide unending understanding and personal care but also the constant companionship that is important to people suffering from memory lapses.
Caring for people with special needs can be overwhelming most of the time. This job requires a lot of patience, hard work, perseverance and understanding. The patients' behavior is high up on the challenges that a family caregiver faces. Most people are used to taking care of themselves, and allowing a stranger to perform very intimate care is usually perceived as an assault to privacy and causes resentment.
Remember that these people aren't the most able and dependence to others is not always a welcome thought. Often times, a caregiver develops a personal and emotional attachment to his/her ward. This makes the suffering of the patient his/her own. It is not unusual for a patient and the caregiver to take on a close relationship, as family.
This is doubly hard for family caregivers who have families of their own. The usual dilemma sprouts when somebody in his/her family also needs the care and attention that is being given to the loved one.
Conflict on whether to heed his/her personal obligation over professional commitment and duties arose. Caregivers also tend or are sometimes required to spend a lot of time with the patient especially when an emergency arises. Again, as a person who will always choose to spend time with his/her own family, if given the choice, being taken away from the family is difficult.
No amount of planning ahead for vacations and setting up leaves to accommodate special dates like birthdays, anniversaries or recitals will cover for an emergency that hovers between life and death. Choosing between a dying ward that needs help and a brokenhearted daughter is not easy for anybody, much less for a family caregiver.
Being effective as a caregiver and at the same time be a good wife, husband or parent is an almost impossible feat. It needs a lot of understanding, acceptance and love from all people involved.
The founders of this website have personally experienced the difficulty of finding infomation that best suits your needs, which vary greatly for each individual situation:
Are you looking funded for private-pay help?
Do you qualify for national, state, or local senior programs?
All Right Reserved Copyright 2011 Care-for-Senior.org | All Art Licensed by Shutterstock
This page was last updated: 5/8/2013
Are You a Family Caregiver
What is a Caregiver
Family Caregiver Support
We invite you to share your thoughts, comments, and questions on our blog. We are all stronger as a team, and our combined support in caring for our loved ones will make a big difference in our efforts! Thank you.