I’m pleased to partner with Midlife Boulevard, to bring you this important public service information about National Family Caregivers Month.
The Changing Roles For Parents & Children
I recently posted about my Mother’s battle with Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and what it has taught me. You can read about it here, in case you missed it.
Sooner or later, we all reach an age when our parent’s health begins to decline. Many times, it is at this moment, when our roles reverse and the Child becomes the Caregiver. I witnessed it when I was a kid, when my Mother took care of her Mom…and so the cycle continues.
Did you know November is National Family Caregivers Month? It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the more than 42 million people in the U.S. that are caring for an older relative or friend. If you are a caregiver yourself, or if you know one, you know that sometimes this means you need extra support.
My Mom now resides in a facility, getting the type of individualized care she requires. My MIL, on the other hand, is being cared for in her home. My FIL is her primary caregiver. Like my Mom, my MIL is battling Alzheimer’s. For the most part, my FIL is on his own, caring for his wife. There are other family members that help him from time to time, but the brunt of her care is left to him. It can be overwhelming.
The more than 42 million caregivers in the U.S. (like my FIL), provide an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to aging relatives, family members, and friends. Many people think that caregivers are paid health professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help. The stark reality is that most caregivers are also working and managing their own families at the same time. Being a Caregiver can be highly stressful- putting caregivers at risk for depression, anxiety immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease, premature aging, etc., not to mention causing financial problems.
When my FIL first started caring for my MIL, he was lost. There was so much he needed to learn, so many new things he was dealing with. I remember getting on my computer and trying to connect him with local resources. What I didn’t know then, was that AARP has a whole community of experts and caregivers that can assist you at www.aarp.org/caregiving.
AARP can help you with topics like:
These are just a fraction of the topics available to you from AARP. Utilize these resources. There is help out there, and AARP is a great place to turn for support.