Claim Your Caregiver Role
You may not usually think of yourself as a family caregiver, even though you do provide much support for a loved one…it’s just something you do! But you are a “family caregiver” if you:
- Support a relative or friend who is ill, elderly, disabled or a special-needs child
- Provide physical or emotional support, or if you assist with household of personal affairs
- Offer aid in person, or from a distance; hands-on help, advice, problem-solving or encouragement.
You are not alone. Various studies estimate that there are between 45-85 million Americans who are family caregivers. With the aging of our population, these numbers are sure to rise.
Recognizing and coping with the stress of caring for others.
If you or someone you know is acting as a family caregiver, it is important to identify yourself as a caregiver with important needs. Why?
- Providing ongoing care and assistance can take a physical, financial, emotional and spiritual toll.
- It can strain your work life and family relations.
- Overlooking the impact of caregiving puts you at risk of feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and becoming ill.
- Support from others and your our own self-care can help you stay healthy and strong enough to do one of the most important, yet difficult things you will ever do in life. And that’s good for both you and your loved one.
So, if you or someone you know is a family caregiver, it is important to invest some time connecting with resources and people who can help you. You are not alone. The first step to receiving necessary support is recognizing your role as caregiver, and the stress that often comes with it.