As the number of aging individuals increases, the number of caregivers is also increasing. Caregiver stress is an important topic as more and more people find themselves in this role.
It’s not just a role for professionals such as medical providers or mental health professionals, those who are educated and have chosen this as a career. Today, many caregivers are family members and friends who may have been thrust into this position without warning, without the necessary understanding or experience about what they will be dealing with in their new role.
Being a caregiver adds new responsibilities. At one time, your parent or grandparent or other loved one may have been able to take care of their home and their daily activities. You may become their caregiver for a short-term illness. Or you may find them partially or even fully incapacitated. No matter the situation, you have just had more added to your plate.
Being a caregiver will be different for everyone, but in general it is helping your loved ones with everyday life – shopping, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, giving medications, helping to bathe or dress them, providing company and being there for emotional support.
Don’t be mistaken. Even caregivers who are trained in this profession suffer from stress and may need assistance, too.
Resources for Caregivers
The Age Positive conference, Ideas for an Age-Friendly Future, offers a forum for program ideas focused on our aging population. Professionals and volunteers working in senior centers, community centers, libraries, parks and other venues offering programs for older adults will find many helpful ideas to take back to their daily lives.
In addition, I will be speaking at the conference, exploring caregiver stress and helping you identify methods to relieve and reduce the symptoms in a session entitled Self-Care for the Caregiver.
I also have several resources available on my website that address caregiver stress, whether you are a professional or lay person.
- On my blog, you’ll find Caregiver Stress – Caring for the Caregiver, which provides an overview of the topic and how you can better manage it. You’ll also find my video with 3 Tips for Handling Caregiver Stress.
- On my Resources page, I have a section devoted to Caregiver Stress, including an audio interview I gave on the Every Woman radio show.
For more tips on living, check out my blog.
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