Caregiving is Everybody’s Business

by Lois Etienne on May 9, 2011

in Caregiver Support

Ken Dychtwald, Ph. D., who has studied gerontology for over 30 years said, “Currently, an estimated 66 million Americans serve as family caregivers, and 80 percent of all long term care support is unpaid. Spouses, adult children, siblings and grandchildren provide it. The impact of caregiving can be unexpected: while only 40 percent of caregivers anticipate that they will contribute financially to a family member’s care, the reality is that 83 percent do. Beyond the out-of-pocket finances, we found that these responsibilities caused nearly half of caregivers to miss work, change shifts or even miss career advancement opportunities.”

Caregiving is not what anyone aspires to. We usually don’t mind doing it for a loved one but only if it’s for a short time period and if it doesn’t interfere with our job or our marriage. Well, big news flash! It usually is time consuming and emotionally and financially draining! So as we enter this tsunami age wave, what are we to do?

• Arm yourself with knowledge…know what kind of things you might need to plan for.

• Know yourself and your own limitations.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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