Every November our nation takes the time to recognize and appreciate the continuous work provided by family members for Family Caregivers Appreciation Month. This year’s theme is “Take Care to Give Care” and focuses on caregivers making sure they learn how to keep themselves well while attending to their loved ones. Senior Living Experts wants to share in saying “thank you” to those who have given so much as unpaid caregivers.
Why Family Caregivers Appreciation is Important
The fact of the matter is that caregiving is a full time job that, as a family member who steps up to the plate, can often feel like nobody notices. Choosing an assisted living option is one of the best ways to keep from caregiver burnout as the sole provider of care for your loved one.
Here are some facts about family caregivers that may boggle your mind…
Family Caregivers by the Numbers
Many of these numbers are provided by this 2015, stand-alone research report provided by the AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving.
- Nearly one-third of the nation is comprised of family caregivers (approximately 29%)
- More than 65 million people are unpaid caregivers according to the Caregiver Action Network statistics page
- Children are also caregivers, with 4 million children helping with the care of a family member
- The average total hours of care provided is 24.4 hours per week in 2015; while 23% provide 41 plus hours a week
- Spouses are affected the most time-wise; providing an average of 44.6 hours of care per week for their husband/wife
- Nursing tasks are becoming an increasingly difficult necessity for family caregivers with 57% taking on the tasks typically provided by skilled nurses
Finding the Right Senior Living Can Help Family Caregivers
It is important to recognize that those providing the majority of unpaid caregiving for their loved ones need a break. Because the focus on this year’s National Family Caregivers Appreciation Month is “Take Care to Give Care” we want you to understand how Senior Living Experts can help make your life as a family caregiver easier.
- Help with ADLs – Living in the right senior living facility can help with providing help with Activities of Daily L Family caregivers who remain in their homes without seeking some type of help will have to provide assistance/care for more than 50% of the typical ADLs for their loved one.
- Focus on the Caregiver – This article in the Chicago Tribune talks about how taking care of themselves helps caregivers of stroke patients live a happier life. It’s safe to say that this focus on the caregiver applies to all family caregivers being happier when they make sure that their own needs are being taken care of also. This is one reason why finding the right senior living facility can be extremely helpful to ensuring that the main caregiving needs are handled by a staff; leaving the family caregiver time to spend enjoying life’s moments instead.
- Family Stress – Finding the right senior living housing is imperative to reducing family stress. If you have the right living situation to provide care for your loved one, you will be less stress. You will also be less inclined to feel obligated to make daily visits to care for your aging parent(s) and let the senior living place of choice do their job.
- Safety – Providing senior living facilities that are designed to provide safer conditions will help you rest easier as an unpaid caregiver to your loved one. Knowing that they are in an area designed to address the specific needs of aging and safety will reduce everyone’s stress.
- Financial Stresses – The economic stresses of family caregiving can become overwhelming. Choosing senior living that is affordable for your specific budget can reduce the constant financial stresses you will be faced with while trying to provide in-home caregiving yourself.
- Trained Care – As mentioned earlier, many family caregivers are being forced to perform tasks that are typically associated with having skilled nurses or trained professionals perform. These tasks can include dealing with incontinence and adult diapers, proper bathing, dispensing medications, transporting and more.
When Seniors Care for Seniors
Senior caregivers tend to be less likely to have the help of other caregivers; especially trained, paid, professional caregivers.
- It taxes the health of both seniors & can result in risky conditions.
- It can become financially overwhelming.
- Seniors will often not ask for help because of pride.
- Spouses may try to hide conditions of their spouse for fear of them being torn apart (this can be addressed with certain options of senior living).
- Staying “at home” is not always the right choice or the best choice; but, finding the “right home” can be!
Senior Living Experts understands how important it is for family caregivers to feel comfortable with the choices they make for their loved ones. We are here to help not only honor them during Family Caregivers Appreciation Month but to help them find the best options in taking care of themselves and their loved ones.