Monday, September 29, 2008

Caregivers Need a Break

Family caregivers, especially adult children caring for aging parents, need a break.

We've known for years that caregivers have a higher rate of illness - even death - than the person in their care. We know that caregiving is stressful physically, emotionally and psychologically.

We know that high blood pressure, sleepless nights, colds and depression are common problems among caregivers.

Now, another study of baby boomer adults caring for parents reaffirms these impressions, finding that "helping a parent results in a downward trajectory of health and well-being for the child." ("Routine Caregiver Duties Create Overload," Times of the Internet, Sept. 26, 2008)

Among the issues are the challenges of balancing many roles. Most baby boomer generation family caregivers are also working, managing their own household and caring for kids or even grandkids. They have parent-teacher conferences with their children, and then rush to their parent's home for caregiver meetings.

They are sandwich generation people, pressed down and put on the grill.

Giving caregivers a break may be as simple as giving them access to tools to help them cope. It may be offering support in terms of training for their role, so that as they face caregiving issues with their aging parents they know how to respond.

Knowledge, after all, can be one of the greatest stress relievers of all. And providing support in the form of access to training is something that can be done by anyone, from anywhere.

If you know of family caregivers that need a break, consider ways to help them gain access to caregiver training and resources. Contact us - we'll help.

1 comment:

Vernita Mills said...

Caregivers of all kinds definitely need to be given a break. In the case of family caring for family, a collaborative effort with other siblings (if any) probably works the best to alleviate some of the tension. For professionals, I believe their initial training should reflect a growing consciousness of the fact that their job is difficult and that it's understandable that they need to take care of themselves as well.