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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

What it Means to Be a Caregiver

by Deah on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:53 PM

Often, becoming a caregiver creeps up on a person. It starts by someone asking you to do a small task for them and builds from there. The next thing you know you are running more errands, doing the shopping, preparing meals, and taking them to appointments. That’s how it started for us with my parents and my mother in-law. It was a sudden event for taking care of my father in-law. These sudden caregiver duties can be triggered by a sudden debilitating medical event such as a stroke, heart attack, cancer, etc.

A caregiver may be the spouse, family member, or close friend. Often one is thrust into caregiving with no training for the job. Before you know it you are juggling work, home, and your loved one’s needs. Adding caregiving responsibilities to an already full schedule can be a challenge; it can be a demanding, unrelenting, and even a financial burden. For some it can be rewarding and gratifying.

A study published by the AARP states that an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States provide unpaid care to an adult or a child. These services would be worth an estimated $470 billion per year. These unpaid caregivers are performing a vital service that would have a great financial impact on the health care system and one that we cannot do without.

Caregiving requires patience, compassion, empathy, and honesty. A good caregiver restores stability to a loved one. Whether it is your job or a responsibility you have accepted, your contribution is invaluable.

Author
Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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