As a family caregiver, it’s easy to think you’re all alone. Rest assured many other people are facing the same challenges as you.
According to the National Family Caregivers Association, there are more than 65 million family caregivers providing care to their loved ones. And many of them face a significant and sustained burden of care. One-half will be in the caregiving role for more than five years. One-third care for more than one person.
And they face three significant challenges every day.
They are concerned with their own health
Family caregivers report that their own health care tops the list as a concern.
- 84 percent have some worries about their own health needs
- 83 percent say they don’t have enough help to provide full care for themselves and their loved one
- 75 percent say they consistently feel isolation, have a strong feeling of being alone in their journey
Caregivers focus on other people’s needs. And in many cases, they become hyper-focused on caregiving goals and put their own needs on the backburner. That may work for awhile, but it always catches up to you. It’s important to remember if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be an effective caregiver. Self-care first ensures you have 100 percent to give.
They are concerned with finances
Family caregivers also worry about financial issues.
- 77 percent have trouble meeting monthly needs
- 71 percent lack the ability to hire the support they truly need
- 59 percent worry about their employment situation
- 58 percent worry about finding adequate health insurance for their own needs
Financial concerns can put a heavy burden on an already stressful situation. Financial concerns aren’t something to keep to yourself. Instead, open up and find alternatives and things that can help. If you start early, you can find ways to ensure your needs before they happen. Many organizations offer help both financially and in finding other resources. If you have questions, ask. You may find the perfect alternative for your needs.
They are concerned with long term needs
New caregivers often haven’t come to terms with their situation. It’s new enough they simply live in the day to day. But very quickly, reality sets in as you discover this is now your life. And the concern for longevity grows.
A few months might not change things; a year, or two, or three, will. All of a sudden you see your situation as your new norm. And that can bring on many feelings and emotions.
It’s important to understand that every situation is different. Yet the process is something you can get help for, find resources for, and get support for.
If you have questions, just ask. A solution is waiting for you just around the corner.