Senior Care Corner’s Tips for Identifying Family Caregivers of Senior Adults to Help Them Focus Attention on Their Own Needs

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More than 50 million Americans provide care to adult family members. Those who care for a family member too often overlook their own needs, resulting in health problems of their own. Many caregivers do not identify themselves as such and for them Senior Care Corner has prepared several tips to help more realize that identity.

Senior Care Corner

We hear many say they’re not family caregivers, just doing what their spouse or parent needs” says Kathy Birkett of Senior Care Corner. “We need them to understand they are caregivers so they can act to prevent negative impacts on their own well-being.

Some describe it as an act of love, others as a family obligation. Whatever they call it, more than 50 million Americans provide care to adult family members. While that care comes in varying degrees and requires different time and effort commitments, for all it impacts the lives of both caregiver and the recipient of their care. Those who care for a family member often overlook their own needs, which can wear them down physically and emotionally, too often resulting in health problems of their own for the caregivers.

One of Senior Care Corner’s roles is to provide information and resources for family caregivers to help them meet both their needs and those of the senior loved ones under their care. One challenge is that many caregivers do not identify themselves as such so do not realize the importance of also caring for their own needs.

“We hear many say they’re not family caregivers, just doing what their spouse or parent needs” according to Kathy Birkett, Senior Care Corner Co-Founder. “It’s necessary for them to understand they are caregivers so they can act to prevent negative impacts on their own well-being.”

Senior Care Corner has prepared several tips to help more family caregivers identify themselves as such and seek out the resources they need to care for their own needs.

A person might be a family caregiver if they…

  •     Have an aging parent who can’t meet his or her own needs living in their home;
  •     Their grandparent is living in their home and
  •     Run an aging family member’s errands or do their shopping;
  •     Assist senior parents or grandparents with their housekeeping tasks;
  •     Take care of aging loved ones’ yard work or home repairs’
  •     Set up grandparents’ web-connected devices and show them how to safely use Facebook to stay engaged with their family and community;
  •     Assist senior loved ones in the documentation of healthcare and end of life wishes through advance directives and living wills; or,
  •     Simply stop by the nursing home regularly to chat with and stay a part of the life of an aging family member.

These tips and more are discussed in a new episode of the popular Senior Care Corner podcast, which can be accessed here.

Understanding that one is a family caregiver is, of course, just the first step in caring for their own needs. Senior Care Corner has many family caregiver resources to help meet those needs and those of the senior loved ones for whom they care.

About Senior Care Corner
Senior Care Corner (on the web at SeniorCareCorner.com) provides solutions, information and tools to family caregivers and others who care for and about senior adults to help them improve the lives of the seniors in their lives. Their blog, biweekly podcast and bookstore address a wide variety of topics family caregivers can use to better understand the wants and needs of their senior loved ones.

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Barry Birkett
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