Managing Caregiver Stressors

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During this political season, one of the issues most American’s can relate to is the availability of affordable health care and the future of Medicare and Social Security.  For those providing caregiving to older and ill family members, these are very real issues that present themselves on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, independent living is not always an option for today’s seniors.  Due to cognitive or physical decline, they may need help.  This undertaking usually falls to a family caregiver.  Family caregivers may be charged with some or all of the following tasks: assisting with hygiene and grooming, meal preparation and assistance with feeding, medication administration, and scheduling and transporting to doctor’s appointments.  Many caregivers live in the same house their loved one.  It is truly an around the clock job.

In addition to this significant responsibility, caregivers must still contend with other demands and stresses in  their own lives: their children who still require care and attention, their jobs, and their spouses.  The emotional and financial responsibility can be overwhelming.  Fortunately, there is help out there to guide caregiver’s during this sometimes arduous and confusing process.

The National Council on Aging’s site http://www.benefitscheckup.org can help senior’s and their caregivers find resources providing help with health insurance, paying for prescriptions, food assistance, and qualifying for a number of other benefit programs that may help to allay the burden’s related to personal care.  There is also help out there for caregivers.  The government’s Administration on Aging has a fantastic website that provides links to elder services programs and resources to help caregivers.  Their site can be found here.

The demands of care giving can cause unspoken emotional stress.  The best way to defuse these multiple pressures is to know that you are not alone as a caregiver and that there is help available to guide you through the process to provide not only the best care to your loved one, but to yourself as well.

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