People often talk about caregiving as a negative thing, or a problem. While there are negative effects that can happen to caregivers, there are also positive ones. We will finish by talking about what to watch for as negative consequences, and some of the benefits of caregiving. Continue reading
It has been suggested that men have a more difficult time as caregivers, because care-giving is often so closely tied with the traditional gender roles of women. Men may feel less competent to provide care, may feel less comfortable talking about themselves as care-givers, and may be less willing to search out support for emotional and psychological tolls that care giving can sometimes have. Continue reading
It is not uncommon for people to be helping loved ones that do not live in the same town, or even same state. People who live an hour or more away from the care recipient are called “long-distance caregivers.” Over 5 million Americans are providing long-distance care, most often helping a parent, step-parent or parent-in-law. Long-distance caregivers live an average of over 400 miles away from their care recipients, or over 7 hours away. About half of long-distance caregivers are not the primary caregiver, but are instead helping out another relative or friend that provides the majority of care. The other half is either the sole caregiver, the primary caregiver, or shares responsibilities equally with another caregiver. Continue reading
Caregivers provide 21 hours of care each week, on average. However, many provide over 40 hours of care in a week. People can be caregivers for different lengths of time, from providing occasional irregular help, to being in a situation that lasts over 5 years. The average length of time that one provides care is 4.3 years, but the length of time depends on the unique situation of the care recipient, and the resources of the caregiver. Many caregivers have some kind of help from another friend or family member, but up to one-third handle all the care-giving responsibilities on their own. Continue reading
Caregiving can happen to anyone, at any time.
Some people become caregivers overnight, in response to a health crisis of a loved one. For others, it can be a gradual process, beginning with basic tasks such as helping with grocery shopping, and developing into more complicated tasks as the care recipient’s health or abilities decline. Caregivers can live with care recipients, or provide assistance from hundreds of miles away. Some caregivers still work, while others have left the labor force to provide care. Some are spouses, nieces and nephews, or daughters, while others are neighbors down the street. How many caregivers do you know in your own family or community? Continue reading