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Monday, December 21, 2020

The Importance of Supporting Family Caregivers

We live in unprecedented times for a number of reasons. One reason is the fact that people are living longer than ever before. While people may be reaching ages like we have not seen in the past, this also means that people often require assistance and care for what may be several years. As people have started living their golden years for much longer timespans, family caregivers have played an integral role in helping to ensure aging family members remain comfortable and well taken care of. Unfortunately, however, caregiver burnout is all too real. Caregivers spend their time day in and day out caring for the needs of someone else. It can be essential, however, that family caregivers find the time to take care of themselves. They often need support to do this.

The Importance of Supporting Family Caregivers

Family caregivers provide a critical service to the ones they love, both the family member in need of care and to other loved ones of this person. They are asked to carry this admirable albeit great task for extended periods of time. Many family caregivers are in what is referred to as the “sandwich generation,” meaning they are not only providing care for an aging family member but also have children of their own to care for as well. The emotional and physical toll that a dual caretaking role can have on a person is significant. In today’s climate, there is the additional pressure of the looming pandemic and the heavily hit economy.

With all this on the shoulders of family caregivers, they carry significant risks of enduring high levels of stress, as well as issues with anxiety, exhaustion, and depression. Furthermore, family caregivers can be at heightened risk for turning to alcohol or other substances as a coping mechanism. Their immune system can become compromised and lead to a decrease in physical health as well as the development of chronic conditions.

In order to avoid these dire consequences that family caregivers face, they need a range of support to help them remain effective caregivers and preserve their own mental and physical health. Support services may include access to caregiver information and assistance, as well as counseling. Caregivers may benefit from having access to home modifications or assistive devices for those they are caring for. Knowing that a caregiver is not alone in the struggles he or she is presented with can be invaluable. Having access to caregiver and family counseling can be important as can access to caregiver support groups.

Looking into other support services for caregivers can also be helpful. These services are available not only through local government agencies, but also certain non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, and also employer-sponsored programs. If you are a family caregiver, look into these support services. If you have a loved one who is a family caregiver, look into these support services for them.

Elder Law Attorney

Family caregivers provide an invaluable service. In fact, the evidence suggests that family caregivers allow their loved ones to delay the need for long-term care or nursing home placement for extensive amounts of time. Remember, though, that family caregivers need support. At Monk Law Firm, we are here to support family caregivers in any way we can. Contact Monk Law Firm today.


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