An estimated 42 million Americans are the primary caregivers to family and friends. Many have no formal training or guidance and give of themselves unselfishly to assist a loved one in daily chores and to live life to the fullest extent possible. These individuals are truly, in many instances, our unsung heroes.
Some interesting stats on caregivers:
›There is growing support from hospitals, government agencies and nonprofits for caregivers. Caregiver support groups are available.
›Congress passed legislation that calls for a national strategy to address the needs of caregivers, who are primarily women and provide 37 billion hours in unpaid care. The Department of Health and Human Services is now required to set up an advisory panel focusing on financial and workplace issues related to caregivers.
›An AARP 2015 study found that 46 percent of family caregivers perform medical/nursing tasks, 78 percent of family caregivers manage medications, and 53 percent of family caregivers serve as care coordinators. The majority told researchers they’d received no training in those tasks.
›With an aging population that continues to grow caregivers are in need of psychological support. Some common signs of caregiver stress include: Anxiety, depression, irritability, feeling tired, difficulty sleeping, overreacting to minor nuisances and new or worsening health problems.
Our Note: Having been a primary caregiver for a family member, I experienced the energy, love and devotion it takes to truly care for another individual. Caring for the elderly and the infirm is a higher calling that, when met, is a blessing of huge proportion.
Source: Gary R’nel
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