Who Is Taking Care of the Caregiver???
Dementia is one of the most expensive and time-consuming health conditions to care for in the U.S. 80% of adults with dementia live at home. Unpaid family members provide the majority of care.
Here are some additional staggering statistics:
- 33% of caregivers assisting a person with dementia are unpaid
- An individual with dementia requires an average of 55 hours of care per week
- More than 27% spend between $5000-$19,999 on out of pocket expenses per year for the care of a person with dementia
Support for caregivers is critical. Here’s what can be done.
- Explore financial assistance options and eligibilities.
- Utilize in home paid assistance from those trained in dementia care.
- Find out about local day care
- Learn about the variety of community services
- Utilize respite care
- Get caregiver training
If you need guidance and resources tailored to your specific situation, contact me. I’m here to help.
What’s the buzz about caregiver fatigue?
With all the responsibilities confronting caregivers along with balancing work, family, social and other responsibilities, it’s not uncommon to get overwhelmed and burnt out. This is now referred to as “caregiver fatigue”. Often caregivers get so involved in care giving that they hit a breaking point. Here are some common signs of caregiver fatigue:
- Constant state of being tired
- Sense of hopelessness
- Health issues
- Physical symptoms
- Retreating from others and activities
Working caregivers can experience an understandable impact at their job. Signs often include:
- Increased absenteeism
- Inability to complete assignments and tasks
- Inability to meet deadlines
- Strong reluctance toward change
For many, care giving is a full time job and for many a second job. If you are a caregiver, it is critical to find ways to sustain yourself. The following are fundamentals that I stress with the caregivers I assist:
Let go of needing to be “the perfect caregiver” and focus on being a loving caregiver
Learn to delegate
Ask for and accept help
Get time away from care giving
Decide what is best and reasonable for you
If you need linkages to day programs, short term respite facilities, or in home care agencies with aides experienced in caring for individuals with dementia, contact me.
Father’s Day Gifts For Caregivers
In last month’s newsletter I offered suggested gift ideas for Mom’s who are caregivers. Link here. Many of these gifts surely will be welcomed by Dads, but thinking about the different challenges that many male caregivers face, here are additional gift ideas for that super hero, Dad:
A Second Set of Hands- hire outside assistance to supplement Dad’s care giving responsibilities
Meals- bring prepared meals that can be served or frozen for future use
Cleaning Service- hire a regularly scheduled cleaning service
Emotional Support- go with Dad to a monthly caregiver support group
Time Out- get tickets for Dad and another family member or friend to go to a sports, recreational or cultural event.
Father’s Day Gifts- should help to unburden the responsibilities of care giving. It’s helpful when conveying your gratitude to share that there is no perfect caregiver, only a loving caregiver.
Want to brainstorm more ideas for a meaningful Father’s Day gift specific to your someone special? Contact me.